The Iris of Provence, une beautiful story

In Provence, an elegant flower with white, yellow and purple petals dots gardens in May. The iris, with its majestic bearing and its powerful colors, handsomely heralds the spring. In Hyères, the Anffoso family has been cultivating it for over two generations.
By Caroline Taret

Let’s head for Hyères to crack the secret of the iris. In this pretty Provençale beach resort facing the fabulous Port Cros and Porquerolles islands, Pierre and Monique Anfosso have been growing this flower since the 1970’s. The iris, renowned as much for its delicate perfume as for its medicinal properties, grows wild in the Sainte-Baume forest in the Camargue, but in the Anfosso family’s nursery, new varieties have been created for over 40 years. This plant with its sophisticated appearance has a history intimately linked to Provence. It inspired Vincent Van Gogh during his stay in Saint-Rémy de Provence to create one of the most famous paintings in the history of art. During his hospitalization at the Monastère Saint-Paul de Mausole asylum Vincent discovered irises in the garden: their gentle swaying in the wind as well as their nuances of color inspired the anxious painter to capture the beauty of nature. He succeeded, and the Anfosso family continues this work with flair.

Discover

Port-Cros

A protected island facing Hyères, its flora and fauna have made Port-Cros a national park.

Giens

This magnificent protected peninsula located just next to Hyères is a hideout for lovers of wild nature in the heart of the Mediterranean.

Porquerolles

The biggest of the islands opposite Hyères, Porquerolles is ideal for a walk with all the family, which might take you right up to the semaphore.

Villa Noailles

A villa built by architect Robert Mallet-Stevens following a commission from patrons Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, La Villa Noailles is a center for culture, fashion and design in Provence.

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