The Salagon Gardens in Haute Provence

Multiple and luxuriant, an exceptional place, enchanting and restful near Forcalquier.
By Aude de Ravel

In the heart of the Luberon, near Forcalquier in Mane, on a site occupied since Neolithic times, six hectares of gardens enclose a medieval priory. They were created between 1981 and 1998, and regroup within five thematic gardens almost 2,500 plant species of which 1,700 are cultivated. This ethnobotanical conservatory in Haute Provence allows the 35,000 annual visitors to discover the world’s flora in all its diversity and uses.

The first garden created in Salagon was the “Jardin des simples et des plantes villageoises” a medicinal herb garden that also brings together common plants from Provence that are found running along tracks and the fields, the useful “weeds”, such as nettle, which was gathered to eat and to heal.

Next comes the medieval garden that brings together about 400 plants and testifies to the multiple uses that were made of gardens at that time including vegetable garden, medicine garden…

As for the “modern day garden”, it invites us on an exotic journey across the five continents: plants, vegetables and spices from elsewhere sprawl within long, colorful flowerbeds.

The “garden of the white oak” reveals the vegetation associated with this tree, and the fragrant garden, certainly the most poetic, carries us away in a swirl of odors thanks to five olfactory itineraries. Take the time to sit on a bench by a tree or under an arbor rich with the heady odor of roses and honeysuckle, recharge your batteries and call upon all your senses to appreciate the arrangement of this playful garden full of fantasy. Be amazed at the original installations like the curtains made of snails or recycled plastic bottle tops, listen to the sound of the water in the fountains, breath in the flowers’ perfume, so beautiful…

Feel in harmony with this vegetable universe, as each of the gardens, with its unique atmosphere, is with the architecture of the old priory.

Here, we rediscover the desire to garden, to learn, to look, to listen… And this is why Salagon offers, apart from the tours, diverse workshops, gardening classes and concerts.


Salagon Priory
Late-night summer opening, 18 August 

Salagon Abbey and Gardens
Salagon Abbey and Gardens
Photography José Nicolas

Latest articles

Muriel Gelato, the Santon as a modern fable

Muriel Gelato, the Santon as a modern fable

Marseille's Atelier Gelato has held the coveted title of maître artisan since 1992 and is a point of reference for santon art. The eldest daughter of the couple who founded the workshop, Muriel expresses herself through her passion for these small clay figurines from Provence.
The production of olive oil, step by step

The production of olive oil, step by step

From picking the ripe fruit to bottling the precious elixir, making olive oil is a lengthy process. At the end of each year, a community of olive growers in the centre of Provence engages in this time-honoured pursuit centred around the tree that is the symbol of the region.