To Gaze On Beauty
Gardens Illustrated|September 2017

With a brief to bring in the landscape, Tom de Witte and Corrine Lecluyse have designed a garden without boundaries at the home of a former music producer in the Lot region of France.

John Hoylan

It is this view that brought me here,” says Yolande Skura as we look out from the terrace of her garden towards deep valleys and rolling hills. “This is one of the last wild, authentic parts of paradise left in Europe,” she says. We are in the Parc National de Quercy in the Lot region of France, in the tiny farmstead of Mas del Lum where Yolande, after 42 years of city life as a classical music producer, has come to make a home and a garden, and to gaze on beauty.

When she bought the property, seven years ago, she was not a gardener so needed to learn quickly. Some of her favourite gardens to look at were those of Piet Oudolf and through him she got in contact with Omna Landscape Design, run by the Dutch garden design duo of Tom de Witte and Corrine Lecluyse. Tom had worked with Oudolf for 20 years and describes him as his mentor.

“They designed the garden five years ago and Tom returns every year [the team is based in the Netherlands] to tweak,” says Yolande. “I was very naïve, and didn’t realise that caring for a garden you don’t just need a strong pair of arms, but 20 strong pairs of arms.

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