Is there such a thing as a French national garden style? There are certainly some recognisably French garden types; such as the clipped formality of Le Notre, the exuberantly decorative potager, and the regional specificity of the gardens of Normandy or Provence. But can a garden be the epitome of a national psyche? For example, I think the French are deeply conflicted between cool, Cartesian rationality, and a passionate desire to just be wild, à la Rousseau. So, if a garden here was able to square that circle, and bring a satisfying resolution to the tension between formality and informality, the natural and the man-made, the cerebral and the emotional – would that represent the perfect French style? If that were possible, then Le Jardin Plume, in Normandy, created by Sylvie and Patrick Quibel, would, in my view, be a serious contender.ais region.