June is rose month, the different rose bushes splash their colors over the dry stone walls, the arbors, the facades… joyfully blasting their perfume and their so varied forms over this place, once dedicated to prayer and contemplation.

July happily combines Roman architecture, flowers and music with concerts in the chapel or the garden… poetic promenades to the sound of the harp or the cello…

Lectures on gardening and roses regularly take place at Valsaintes, and below the


Rosa Centifola

Jardin de l’Abbaye de Valsaintes
Lieu-dit Boulinette

04150 Simiane-la-Rotonde
T 04 92 75 94 19
Open from April to November. From May to September open daily from 10.30am to 7pm. Entrance fee.


garden, the owners have developed a nursery from which one can buy favorite rose bush(es) to plant at home, in a garden or on a balcony… a beautiful souvenir of a beautiful tour…

Valsaintes, one of Provence’s most enchanting summer places !


more than 450 varieties bloom in this garden, which has of course, given the work accomplished, obtained the “Remarkable Garden” label.

Here, one must take the time to contemplate the diverse plant varieties, but also the beauty of the surrounding landscape, and to appreciate the calm and serenity which this place, rich in history, gives off. Then wonder at the strength of the oak tree - labeled “Remarkable Tree” - to grow and thrive in a chalky rock face, and the multitude of round stones to which the hamlet owes its name “les Boulinettes”… In a word, let oneself be swept along the flowery alleys in a dreamy roaming, overcome by the imagination, then relax breathing in the fragrant air.

In Haute Provence, constructed on an Antique oppidum, at 600 meters altitude and not far from the beautiful medieval hilltop village of Simiane-la-Rontonde, one of Provence’s most secret abbeys can be found, the Abbey of Valsaintes.

This modest beauty was built in 1180 and inhabited by monks until the French Revolution. A few years ago it was bought by three friends, of which one, Jean-Yves Meignen, is a genuine garden lover. So the restoration of the place didn’t stop with the building and the chapel. Terraced gardens have been created and today the visitor can discover an olive tree , a dry garden, a cottage garden and a remarkable collection of roses…

By Claire Vincent- Photos José Nicolas - July 12, 2012

The Abbey of Valsaintes possesses a classified “Remarkable Garden”.