This visual record of the wild flowers, plants, trees and shrubs in Provence was created by two friends, initially brought together by a shared interest in gardens and gardening, and by living in nearby villages.
We came by different routes to live in Provence nearly 20 years ago. We began to explore the Provençale countryside, enjoying walking together and sharing our interest in plants and gardening. In the course of our lives we have each created gardens wherever we have lived.
This visual record of nearly 700 wild plants is our response to the wonderful variety of wild flowers, trees and shrubs that we have found and appreciated over time here in Provence. Our interest gradually led to recording our finds, and to working out how we could present them to be interesting and accessible.
Saskia’s lifelong knowledge, interest and enthusiasm in plant-life provided the impetus. Before settling in the south of France she led visits to the Floriade in the Netherlands, to parks in Paris and famous gardens on the Cote d’Azur, and to a selection of gardens in Ireland.
She has researched the details of each plant. (Published sources are listed below.)
Isabel took up macro photography to record the flowers and plants. She is out walking in the cool early mornings, catching the moments when the light is right.
The project has developed over the years. We would not have anticipated embarking on such an ambitious project, but we both became enthused by what we were discovering.
Our interest has grown in following through the life cycle of plants. Discovering orchids, for example, was new to both of us, and was initially inspired by exploratory walks with Pierre Michel Blais, as members of the Society Francaise d’Orchidophilie.
Over the years we have sadly seen a loss of habitats and species. Wild plants often exist in the few wild places beside our paths and roads, so are vulnerable to being sprayed or strimmed before they can flower, be enjoyed, or produce seeds for the next year. The additional heat and drought from the climate crisis has reduced the plants we see around us. As the vineyards continue to increase, so the bees and other pollinators are at ever greater risk from the sprays used on the vines.
On the positive side we can see locally how areas that endeavour to reduce the use of herbicides and insecticides have a rich variety of wild plants. It is always a real delight when a familiar plant emerges again and is secure in its habitat for yet another season.
We hope that more awareness of the richness of plant life, and its contribution to our own well‑being, might lead to more protection and care for our natural environment. Our hope is that this website might help to inspire others to value and protect the wild spaces and wild plants in Provence.
We hope you enjoy exploring these plants – online and in the Provence Verte countryside.
We would welcome your comments using the contact form below. Corrections would be helpful if there is a need. We cannot promise a prompt reply.
Gregor Aas & Andreas Riedmiller, Bomengids in kleur. 1988 Tirion, Baarn.
Annie Aboucaya, 80 fleurs des îles ed du littoral varois. 2006 Libris, Grenoble.
Sarah Ball, Wild Flowers of Eastern Andalucia. 2014 Browndown Publications, Gosport.
Marjorie Blamey & Christopher Grey Wilson Mediterranean Wild Flowers. 1998 Domino Books Ltd, Jersey.
Marjorie Blamey, Richard Fitter & Alistair Ritter, Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland. 2013 Bloomsbury Publishing, London.
Marjorie Blamey, Wild Flowers by colour. 1997 Domino Books Ltd, Jersey.
Jean David, Les Plantes du Littoral. 2013 Editions Jean-Paul Gisserot, Quintin.
Jean David, Les Plantes du bord de Mer. 2010 Editions Jean-Paul Gisserot, Quintin.
Jean David, Les Plantes des Montagnes. 2009 Editions Jean-Paul Gisserot, Quintin.
Neil Fletcher, Fleurs de Méditerranée. 2011 Editions Larousse, Paris.
Han Honders, Dr Oskar Sebald Wilde Planten van West en Midden Europa. 1982 The Reader’s Digest NV, Amsterdam.
John and Gerry’s Orchids of Britain and Europe: orchidsofbritainandeurope.co.uk
Cécile Lemoine, Les fleurs des montagnes. 2004 Editions Jean-Paul Gisserot, Quintin.
Cécile Lemoine, Les fleurs méditerranéennes. 2005 Editions Jean-Paul Gisserot, Quintin.
Wolfgang Lippert & Dieter Podlech, Plantes de Méditerranée. 1994 Editions Nathan, Paris.
Richard Mabey, Food for Free. 1972 Collins, London.
James Mast de Maeght, Ophrys. ophrys-genus.be
Patrick Merienne & Thierry Ménard, Randonnées Naturalistes dans le Var. 2013 Rando Editions, Tarbes.
Monaco Nature Encyclopedia: monaconatureencyclopedia.com
Marie-Claude Paume, Sauvage et comestibles. 2005 Edisud, Aix en Provence.
Oron Peri, Bulbs of the Eastern Mediterranean. 2015 Alpine Garden Society, Pershore.
Roger Phillips & Th.F. Bergers, Bomen van de Gematigde Streken. 1979 Het Spectrum BV, Utrecht.
Roger Phillips & Suzette E. Stumpel-Rienks, Wilde Bloemen. 1993 Het Spectrum BV, Utrecht.
Jean-Claude Tempier, Sainte-Baume Nature. 2012 Edisud, Aix en Provence.
We would welcome your comments using this contact form. Corrections would be helpful where there is a need. We cannot promise a prompt reply.