The view from The Martinez is exquisite – a bay of sparkling aquamarine punctuated by palm trees and pines. The landscape designer in charge of installing ‘LE JARDIN’ to the front of the property and maintaining is Christophe Nazarian of Nazarian Espaces Vert who has lived on the French Riviera for more than 20 years, designing all types of garden formats and maintaining them throught the year – from installing irrigation systems through to pruning trees and applying them with organic treatments that stimulate and heal.  From his base in Nice, Christophe works all over the French Riviera – spanning the coast from Monaco to Saint-Tropez – working with prestige clients in the area such as Agency 5 Promenade, Monaco Yacht Club, French Blood Establishment, Cogedim Altera and Cap 3000. Here we chat about Christophe’s designs, inspiration and the perfect plants for all seasons on the Cote d’Azur…

I originally started garden design with my friend Phillippe Niez, who is a great landscape designer both in Paris and around the world generally – he contributed to the garden of the Hôtel du Martinez in Cannes”

Christophe Nazarian

NS: “How did you start out in garden design and which trees and flowers have you installed at The Martinez, one of my favourite hotels on the Côte d’Azur?”

CN: “I’ve been a landscape contractor for 10 years now and I started working for the Hotel du Martinez back in 2018. We’ve installed trees, shrubs and flowers including cork oak, camphor, bitter orange, ‘moonlight’ mimosa and flowers such as giant Dalhias imperialis and Mediterranean shrubs, tree poppies – which produce flowers similar in appearance to fried eggs (see further down the page); charica euphorbias, which is a blue like sea water plus ‘paper bush’…”

I’ve systematically acquired my experience in garden design over time; I’m motivated through my passion for nature and inspired by what it gives us in return, combined with my will to work hard…”

Christophe Nazarian

NS: “I love the scent in the air in the South of France generally and the planting of the gardens enhances the ambience; which perfumed flowers and trees do you most often install in your own designs?”

CN: “In our gardens, we plant scented flowers such as the ‘Pierre de Ronsard’ and the ‘Sally Holmes’ (below, left) variety of roses and sour orange trees that flower with scented white blossom; also lilies including lilium candidum, lilium regale and Amaryllis belladonna, Nerines (Nerine bowdenii), Tuberoses (Polianthes tuberosa ‘La Perle’) and Common Frangipani (Plumeria rubra). These plants have all adapted to the sea air, particularly sour orange trees and myrtles, which are most exposed to these constraints…”

My first garden design layout was for a private villa located at the Croix des Gardes in Cannes, a garden that was both Mediterranean and a large cactus garden…”

Christophe Nazarian

NS: “How do you address the issue of second home owners having to leave their gardens in winter?  How do you maintain them?”

CN: “In the winter months, the cold can present a danger for plants such as cacti which hold water in them – and can even prove fatal if we have severely harsh winters – but on the French Riviera, thankfully, that’s very rare. As part of my service, I design regular maintenance contracts on the property of the homeowners in order to keep their garden in perfect condition during winter…”

Each customer is a dream to have whether they are small, medium or large, however ‘The Negresco’ in Nice would certainly be interesting to me, it would be good to collaborate with the hotel on a project…”

Christophe Nazarian

NS: “Which is your favorite flower on a personal basis, and why?”

CN: “My favourite flowers are roses, because they have a captivating scent and, above all, they have dazzling beauty – like women…”

NS: “And your favourite plant or tree?”

CN: “The unique umbrella pines are of majestic beauty – and are a sign that demonstrates that we are indeed on the French Riviera!”

*NOTE: Nazarian Espaces Vert also offers a plant rental service for the decoration of events. Contact: locationplantes.nazarian.fr

CONTACT: http://www.nazarianespacesverts.com

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