On one of the hottest days of July, Sara and I visited Le Jardin des Sambucs, not far from la Corconne, where our family spent 14 summer holidays

It turned out to be a wonderful escape from the blazing sun: most of the walk is through lush greenery – bamboo, tropical like plants, often surrounding green ponds and waterfalls

Amazingly I had never been before  somebody had advised me the walk would be too tricky, but in fact there were handrails at tricky moments.

There is a certain amount of kitsch and whimsy, but much to love and appreciate about this garden, created 25 years ago by its owners, Nicholas, who works with stones, and Agnès, a landscape gardener.

I took home two of their messages, repeated with much passion: the value of wandering slowly through a garden, and the fact that a garden is constantly evolving, with the gardener gently adjusting what nature has determined .

There were frequent places to sit, to drink in the green, smile at the stone columns and structures, listen the sound of water, or catch the odd glimpse of the magnificent Hérault valley, outside this enchanted world .

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