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date: 31 March 2020

Berbie, Palais de la 

The Oxford Companion to the Garden
Patrick TaylorPatrick Taylor

Albi, Tarn, France, the 13th-century former archiepiscopal palace of Albi which today houses paintings by Albi's most famous artist, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The palace stands on the banks of the river Tarn with walks along its ramparts which are shaded by arbours of grapevines and wisteria. Below, towards the palace, is a sunken garden with a dazzling parterre. At its centre is a circle of clipped box with a swirling pattern of annuals and on each side fan shapes of clipped box swerve outwards. The box has rounded edges and the patterns ressemble those of a plump eiderdown. Narrow beds of annuals, usually pink and white, edge the parterre. There was a garden on this site in the 17th century but the present garden must date from the early 20th century. It is a charming sight, a sprightly modern evocation of 17th-century ideas.... ...

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