There is sexy……. alluring. Did you catch our thoughts on this in The Guardian Gardening Debate? If not here’s the link:

The Friday Debate: Are gardens sexy? | Life and style | 

And then there is sexy meaning cute, attractive, smart or interesting. 

Here, we are in no doubt we mean sexy…….. smart.

I had of course been aware of the modernist significance of  Villa de Noailles. I had also read of the gardens, but never seen them. Even with our impossibly glamorous lifestyles Lesley and I are not that often in the south of France!And I had never seen an image of it until now.

Looking for something completely different, I came across:


Directional pattern takes you to the gap in the walls at the end which itself breaks the  triangularity. A pillar half hidden in the shadows in this photo acts as a focal point for the entire scheme but is already in the next garden space along so there are separate rooms, but not completely so. Neat. Of course this is all great as long as there is not an eyesore at the end of your triangle. Then you would be fighting to keep interest in the garden and on the floor!

The grilles to the side give useful access and views through in either direction or right through the space. Always interesting.

The spaces between the rectangular floor pattern and the walls is used for a play on triangles, even elevated ones, and successfully bridges the gap between the gap and the surfaces.   

The part ziggurats against the house  fulfil the same function. Looking this way you are also even more aware of  just what good utilization this has been of this impossibly narrow space.

Charles, Vicomte de Noailles and his wife Marie-Laure employed architect  Robert Mallet-Stevens to build this summer villa in the hills above Hyeres in the Var in southeastern France between 1923-1925.  Gabriel Guevrekian designed the triangular cubist garden.

The Noailles were great collectors of modern art and patrons of the likes of Picasso, Dora Maar, Salvador Dali, Miro and so on.


During the 90s the garden seems to have got a little run down. Gardens which rely on crispness, must needs be kept that way. But the 2008 photo below by Siefkin DR makes it plain that it is now in much more sparky order.


The planting seems somewhat ebullient, but then plantsmanship is better practised in the UK-oops that just slipped out!

Not quite sure either we need the red, white AND the blue. The colours of so many flags, that never struck me as the best combination. But how bright and refreshing-imagine waking up to this beneath your bedroom window!