Interview with Patrick Sermadiras, specialist in topiary art

Interview with Patrick Sermadiras, specialist in topiary art

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Owner of the magnificent Jardins du Manoir d'Eyrignac in Périgord, Patrick Sermadiras returns to us on the topiary art which he made his specialty. He gives us some secrets and tips to make your shrubs into real sculptures.

What can you see at the Jardins du Manoir d'Eyrignac?

The Gardens of the Manor of Eyrignac, Historical Monuments of the 17th and 18th centuries, are undoubtedly the most beautiful gardens in the Périgord with a unique collection of plant sculptures. An example of topiary art, these green gardens made up of charms, yew, boxwood, cypress and lawns are visited each season. They were patiently recreated by my father, Gilles Sermadiras, on the lines of the first French Gardens of the 18th century, mixed with Italian influence. My Capucine wife, for several years, has been helping to reveal new, more rural styles of garden. The Vegetable Garden, the Florist Garden and the flower meadows create a set of ornamental and colorful scenes, harmoniously married to the power and rigor of the Jardins dereens. Finally, in 2013, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the birth of André Le Nôtre, I created the new Jardin des Sources on more than one hectare. In this Garden is mixed the ordering so "French" of the gardens of the XVIIth century thanks to axes and perspectives and a very contemporary bias to reveal the beauty of the surrounding landscapes. All these projects are dear to us, to my son Gilles also who reveals himself and increasingly shares this passion for Eyrignac. We are committed to perpetuating the remarkable history of these gardens, an exceptional family complex that has belonged to my family for over 500 years.

How are the gardens designed?

They are in the spirit of the 18th century French Gardens, mixed with Italian influence. They have been recreated according to the original traces to restore them to their original form.

Can everyone get started in Topiary Art?

Of course ! But you have to think about maintenance and therefore start small. You also have to work in stages. Start with an easy shape like a ball. Obtain of course a good shear to sharpen and clean regularly. Seek help from a mesh template! Then there is nothing left but to prune what exceeds as the plant grows. Everyone has their own method as long as the desire is there.

What are the shrubs to favor?

Many plants are suitable for pruning, but my preference is boxwood, which is easy to prune and does not require water.

Do you have advice for beginners?

I think it is better to start with a small garden. You have to learn every day, observe, start again and understand that nature is indomitable, fortunately.

What is your secret for a beautiful vegetable patch?

Stagger crops so that production benefits throughout the year. You can also play with the flower / vegetable associations which are interesting in ornamentation but also very useful to repel or trap parasites. Tips and tricks for pruning trees Our practical gardening videos