Far from its coastline, the island of Oléron reveals in its center, in a typical old village, one of the most beautiful gardens in France. For over fifteen years, Thierry Lecêtre, its owner, has shaped it according to his travels and his botanical discoveries. He presents us today this place with soft accents of exoticism.
Tell us about your background…
Everything predestined me in the garden. I come from a horticultural sector and I worked in education for a long time before embarking on this adventure. I left everything to devote myself fully to this garden. The ground was bare, I started from nothing. There were only five trees and it is over the years and hard work that I have managed to create this little oasis of greenery in the heart of the island. At the beginning, I hadn't imagined it for a tourist purpose but, with the support of the tourist office of Saint-Pierre d'Oléron, I let myself embarked.
How did you think of this garden?
My main goal was to make people feel good. I have been developing and maintaining this very soothing aspect for a long time. A feature that works with visitors. Then, another wish on my part, the garden must be pretty in any season. I am very demanding and, for that, I first thought of my gardens according to the leaves. A base, pleasing to the eye, even without flowers. But it is of course at the time of flowering that there, the park reveals itself. I like the idea of saying that I compose his painting like a painter. A beautiful image that allows me to renew it every year with new plants. Because plants are an inexhaustible source of inspiration.
And the star is sage ...
I discovered this plant during my studies. The island's climate lent itself perfectly to its development. It was growing well, it was easy. And with more than eight months of flowering, the sage enchants the public for a large part of the year ... Today, I have more than 100 to 120 varieties depending on the season and the whole garden is structured according to this grass aromatic, which I find fascinating. I have collected seeds all over the world to constitute a real collection.
Travel does have a big influence on your garden, right?
I have always been attracted to exotic plants. I like their color, their shape ... But that doesn't mean that I don't like daisies. I'm trying to find the right balance, a common thread that allows me to marry these two botanical universes. I also try to acclimatize these plants to the region, with its sandy soil, a little swampy and not always hospitable to foreign vegetation… This is why I also got into coaching. And the nursery, point of sale at the end of the visit, also allows those interested to acquire the favorite plants or curiosities seen in my garden. The Gardens of the Boirie 9 rue centrale 17310 Saint-Pierre-d'Oléron