> Private Beach Paradise

Turn your Mediterranean garden into a seaside dream

(abr. version of German original; translation by Riviera Insider Magazine)

A beach house is the ultimate dream of living on the Côte d’Azur, but even those who have to settle for a sea view alternative a few kilometres inland can still inject the feeling of summer, sun and salt on the skin into their backyard with a special beach garden.

If you are one of the lucky ones who own a real seaside garden, there are a few things you need to consider. The summer heat and dry soil put a strain on foreign plants. Winter too can be a challenge as heavy storms and winds carrying salty air can make for difficult growing conditions. It is key to choose the right plants. Continue Reading →

> La vie en Rose

Has any flower ever achieved such a status as the rose?

First published in Riviera Insider Magazine, May/June 2016

Roses, these thorny, but smooth-petalled and perfumed flowers have been an integral part of our culture for thousands of years. Ancient Sumerians adored them cultically, in China roses have been cultivated since 2700 B.C., the Egyptians dedicated the red rose to their goddess Isis. Greeks crowned their glorious warriors with them, and the infamous Roman emperor Nero indulged his guests at the legendary “sub rosa”-party with rose petals, rosewater, rose oil and rose wine. In the early age of sail roses became the export hit of the Orient and, when the “War of the Roses” was finally over, England made the rose its national flower. Continue Reading →

> Precious Gardens

How investing in your garden affects your property’s value

First published in Riviera Insider Magazine, May/June 2016

Owners and buyers invest increasingly into the design of their gardens, especially those acquiring exclusive properties. It is not only the longing for inspiration and recreation, or the quest for an adequate representation of their lifestyles, that drives them. It has been common knowledge for a long time now, that individually and professionally designed gardens are a profitable investment, and that’s not only true for luxurious properties. Continue Reading →

> Following the Japanese path

The principle of conscious reduction in a garden

First published in Riviera Insider Magazine, January 2016

A new year begins and we develop laudable plans, good intentions and perhaps even new perspectives. That’s a good thing to do because several unpleasant events in 2015 made us feel quite uneasy and our confidence in a general safety was totally shaken. Continue Reading →

> Poor Gardening vs. Good Gardening Techniques

Gardening on the French Riviera – or: tradition is not a reason that’s good enough …

It’s worth while to learn what gardens and plants look like, which have been cared for with love, horticultural knowledge, proven gardening techniques – and first and foremost – with an interest in their owners’ views. 

Good practical gardening starts with a good garden layout, good planting schemes, the right plant choice and correct spacing of plants. But most gardens are what they are and they too need the best possible maintenance and maybe some careful renovation over time. 

Continue Reading →

> Le tapis vert – The Green Carpet

About lawn on the French Riviera – and lawn alternatives for subtropical climates

Habits, loved and unloved ones, are in all cultures, what two German sayings would express as „the salt in the soup“ and „the hair in the soup“ – both at the same time. On the French Riviera you don’t get around your jardinier’s cultivated déjeuner. Continue Reading →

> Palm Moths and Palm Weevils – and how to protect and save your palm trees

Is there a way to save the palm trees on the French Riviera? Notes on Rhynchophorus and Paysandisia.

First published in the Riviera Times/Monaco Times/Riviera Insider (2/2016)

For years there have been reports about the two main pests damaging Mediterranean palm trees, the so-called palm moth (Paysandisia archon) and the so-called red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus). Continue Reading →

> Following the Japanese path

The principle of conscious reduction in Asian garden design

First published in the Riviera Times/Monaco Times/Riviera Insider (1/2016)

A new year begins and we develop laudable plans, good intentions and perhaps even new perspectives. That’s a good thing to do because several unpleasant events in 2015 made us feel quite uneasy and our confidence in a general safety was totally shaken. Continue Reading →

> Bonjour Tristesse

Why autumn is the right time to plant on the Mediterranean

First published in the Riviera Times/Monaco Times/Riviera Insider (11/2015)

Doesn’t this book title of Francoise Sagan fit perfectly for November, this misty, gloomy killjoy? Deeply unmotivated to tackle garden work in cold and rain, we half-heartedly repair the tool shed’s door, only to get back inside asap where a hot pumpkin soup awaits us. Yep, it’s like that in countries with a more northern latitude. But not on the Cote D’Azur! Continue Reading →

> More Balance Please! This is Not Versailles!

Why Formal Pruning and Rounded Shapes Don’t Always Make Sense.

Every design has its place in this world. Seriously. I believe in this allegation. Example: I personally don’t really like designs that are based on skulls and bones, say the typical black and silver motorcyclist’s t-shirt featuring some kind of screaming meatless human head. Continue Reading →

> Anticipated Views

Getting inspiration from great gardens. Or: why Kew can be key

Perhaps you have already visited interesting gardens in your life, like the Villa d’Este (Tivoli), the Botanical Garden Berlin, Versailles, Ryōan-ji in Kyoto or of course Kew Gardens. 

Isn’t it amazing how beautifully composed and arranged these gardens are? A symphony of vibrant greens, topped with blossoms in all colors, flanked by silent paths and perfectioned by birds singing in the trees.

Continue Reading →

> 6 Things to Consider When Thinking About a Garden Investment

A beautiful garden not only pays back – it helps getting your house off from the list

It’s probably to late to hire a garden designer for a complete new garden when you wish to see your house to be sold by the end of the year, but it wouldn’t hurt to hire a pro anyway!

The question really isn’t should you invest in your garden or not. The questions are rather how much should you invest? Whom should you get? What should be done? What do you like? What to avoid and how to keep up with things?

Continue Reading →

> What Real Estate Pros Recommend About Garden Investments

“Bigger plants and increasing sophistication of landscape design (have) a material positive effect on home prices”

A property with a planned and carefully implemented garden has a large advantage when buyers compare many different properties, and it can give you a decent return on investment. But just how much ROI can you expect? And how to go about it? Continue Reading →