Gardens & Grounds
Gardoussel Retreat lies in a private estate of 45 acres, of which 15 acres is meadow at the edge of a river and the rest is woodland and mountains.
The land is dynamic - both soft and hard, open and closed, bright and shaded. So there are plenty of places to find an undisturbed spot for writing, reading, meditation or sunbathing.
The Buddha Garden is a walled garden with flower beds, a table and seating and a resident Buddha that sits underneath our mulberry tree.
The Loft Terrace is located above the Buddha Garden and the main hamlet path and provides access to the Loft classroom. It is planted with fruit trees (apple, pear, plum and cherry), and has a large grassy area with a swing seat, and wooden tables and seating as well as swings and a slide for children. There are hammocks strung among the oak trees. From here you can walk the few steps up to our boma (African fire pit).
The Pivert is a dorm-room in our Bergerie accommodation. It has its own small, private garden with table and seating, a hammock between the mulberry trees and a herb garden.
The donkey paddock is located directly below the main building and is home to our donkeys Caddy and Perle, who are very friendly and love visitors. Below that is the pool terrace, with an above-ground swimming pool of 7 X 4m in which adults and children can bathe.
Our vegetable garden is located just below the main path between the road and the hamlet of Gardoussel and consists of 5-6 terraces on which our gardener Jean-Claude works his green-fingered magic, manifesting a variety of succulent organic vegetables that we use in our group catering whenever possible.
Our meadow borders the Gardon river and is secluded visually from the road by trees and other vegetation. In spring it is a mass of wildflowers. Evidence of an old 'béal' (agricultural irrigation system consisting of shallow canals hollowed into the ground) can be seen along its length.
The mountain above Gardoussel is covered mainly in evergreen holm oak trees, with some patches of sweet chestnut trees (châtaigners). A stream, often dry in the summer months, runs down the mountainside under a little bridge on our property into the Gardon river.