Garden Photo of the Day

Mariette’s garden in France

12 photos total

Hey GPODers! We’re slowly working our way up to speed on the blog, so bear with us. Let’s travel today to France! These photos are from Mariette Paardekooper.

She says, “I am a Dutch woman married to Alfred Ophof. I am a mother of two sons and grandmother since 8 weeks. Since 2007 I could do my work, text corrections and translations, from home through the internet. We then started to renovate the fermette in the Bourgogne we had bought in 1997. It was a ruin without water, electricity, windows and doors.

“Since 2 years I am retired, too, and we started to do something with the garden. I had to do something after having worked since I was 18. I did not know I would love it so much. My parents were always working in their garden and I knew the joy they shared when something started blooming. My mother always had a pair of little scissors with her and a plastic bag to take seeds with her, I do the same.

“We only live here the beautiful months: May – October. The winters are very cold her and since Alfred is a painter ( he also has to go back for exhibitions, orders, or his clients. And I want to go back for my children and friends.

“We live in the Nièvre, which is part of the Bourgogne, 2.5 hours drive south of Paris. It is really the countryside. Here the famous Charolais cows and one hour away from Sancerre, Pouilly, Chablis and Bourgone wines. We just live in the middle of these wine villages. You will understand we love them.

“The garden: it was a meadow. The former owner had some cows. There was a little pond in the garden in which we put the  septic tank, which we later on regretted since we could have used it for the garden. Alfred made a terrace and then looking at the grass we wanted to do something with it. So gradually the garden grew and is still under construction. Apart from plants and flowers, we also have a little potager where I grow tomatoes, peppers, onions, leeks, etc. It gives such pleasure when we harvest.”

Beautiful, Mariette! And your region sounds DREAMY.

View Comments


  1. user-1020932 05/23/2014

    loved your photos and enjoyed reading the narrative of the creation of your summer place! also visited your husbands website. beautiful artwork and my favorites are the pigs!

  2. susanjensensmith 05/23/2014

    Beautiful! Might have to go dig out an old ladder!

  3. perenniallycrazy 05/23/2014

    What an absolutely charming garden and lovely story Mariette! Your husband's paintings are beautiful. I especially love the still life ones. I imagine your children and grandchildren to be just as artistic as both of you are.

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