Poppies In Provence – Saint Paul De Mausole Monastery

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The tranquil gardens of Saint Paul De Mausole Monastery, in St. Remy, France.

I recently went to Provence, France, for the first time. The landscapes there are beautiful in a subdued but nevertheless profound way, more so than I expected. But unlike most of the landscapes I choose to visit, the vast majority of vistas prominently show the fingerprints of Man. Nothing unexpected, in such an ancient and continually-inhabited region. Usually, I will try to compose my images to show only nature. But in Provence, I did not feel compelled to do so. Unlike most places I’ve been, the signs of humanity — houses, churches, gardens, even roads — seem to be in unique harmony with the landscape. Nowhere was that feeling more salient than here, in Saint Paul de Mausole Monastery, near St. Remy. The beautiful, carefully-tended beautiful gardens blend perfectly with the beauty of the hills beyond… perhaps even amplify it. In this photo, you can see the red poppies (a bit past peak), and lavender (quite a bit before peak). Vincent Van Gogh spent time here as a self-admitted patient, and used these very gardens for inspiration.

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