The Bastide du Clos has been constructed in the first half of the XIIIth century by Jean-Baptiste de Villeneuve, lord of Excaplon, member of an ancient Provençal family.

 

During fourty years André de Villeneuve arranged the gardens around the different basins. The gardens are levelled over 3 terraces with 7 basins and fountains dating from the XIIIth to the XIXth century. They are supplied with water by an important system of underground passages. They were constructed at the same time since the building of the Country Estate existed.
One arrives by an upper terrace at the main house and at a pavilion both connected by a troglodyte orange grove. Three basins ornament a long lane of century old chestnut trees. From this terrace the view into the valley over the graded gardens is beautiful.
Most imaginatively, steps covered in grass and concealed by dwarf box trees (Buxus nana d’Artois) rejoin the middle terrace which is adorned with geometrically arranged flowerbeds after the French tradition.

Numerous dense balls of box trees delimit the different lawns.
An alignment of persimmon (diospyros kaki) is coverinv an iron arcade. A hedge of box trees is planted at it’s base overhanging roses (sangria) which flower all summer long.

A large basin measuring in length more than 40 m is installed on the third terrace. It is bordered by lonicera (loniara nitida) as well to be seen in a great part of the other gardens.
Whilst passing under an arcade of Cypresses one discovers a garden arranged in steps. These are retained by remarkable walls constructed entirely with round pebbles, which are found on the plateau of Valensole.
On each level are planted fruit trees as well as olive trees with borders of Rosemary, lavender, cotton (santolina) lavender and Hyssop.
All is overhung by a geometrically designed garden filled with different aromatic plants : tufts of flourishing and dense Marjoram, Pineapple Sage, Sage of the Provence, Savory, Thyme of the Provence, Helicrysum and Tarragon.
Lime trees (tilia phartyphyllos), three century old Evergreen Oaks, (quercus ilex) walnut trees, Pine trees of Aleppo, Judas trees etc complete the park.
Accuracy, elegance and harmony are blended to perfection in this Provençal garden, sweet scented of Lavender, with the soothing sound of running water and the song of the cygales.

Discovery of a new basin
Hidden in the dense vegetation exists a large basin probably dating back to the construction of the main house. Its restauration will improve a part of the property by obtaining water from the valley at 2 bars of pressure (the reservoir will contain 300 m3)

The mines (tunnels)
The particularity of the Clos manifests itself by it’s supply of water obtained by the mines. Men dug out these passages in the hills already at 1641. They can obtain a length of 350 meters. These mines will channel an underground river and thus by gravitation supply the 7 basins and fountains of the park with water.

Visit of the gardens, ceremonies, seminaries, photos
Tel : +33 (0) 7 82 67 92 73