The gardener of the Abbey of Valsaintes : Jean-Yves Meignen

After a professional career in large international nurseries, in 1996 Jean-Yves Meignen joined in the restoration of the Abbey of Valsaintes as well as the creation of a rose nursery and a nature area around the old abbey. He took patch of land which for centuries had been an overgrown wilderness, and turned it into a unique garden.

The years of work on creating the garden revealed an unsuspected wealth of flora and fauna that Jean-Yves Meignen has always been keen to maintain, in order to preserve this unique heritage.

Throughout his own personal journey, he is constantly re-evaluating his own knowledge and actions. He puts a special focus on observing plants’ behaviour and environment, in order to understand his mistakes.

The result is a commitment to act in accordance with his watchword: “respect for life” — and natural practices that avoid the use of biocidal (life-killing) products.

Homeopathy, aromatherapy, energised water, mulching of local lavender, beneficial garden insects and so on are constantly studied, so as to understand the true nature of the natural strategies used in our gardens. A gardener’s role is to work with nature, and not to constrain it.

This is the attitude that Jean-Yves Meignen teaches in his gardening workshops at the Abbey of Valsaintes and elsewhere.

Discover the books of Jean-Yves Meignen

Garden contributor on Radio France Bleu

Jean-Yves Meignen presents a daily radio gardening segment.

His live shows are a real success: many listeners are grateful for his wise advice and his simple style, because, they say, “we understand what he says; we can always learn something from listening to him — and above all, it works!”

On France Bleu Vaucluse : live on Saturdays from 9am to 9:30am — Frequencies: 88.6 and 100.4 MHz

Listen to the garden segments

and the Saturday morning shows

On France Bleu Drôme Ardèche : Listen to Jean-Yves Meignen’s segments

On France Bleu Gard Lozère : Saturday morning

Speaking engagements

Jean-Yves Meignen is increasingly in demand as a lecturer and gardener, to offer advice at a variety of garden events. These conferences cover a range of topics in order to meet the needs and expectations of all gardening enthusiasts. His main motivation is to pass on his experience: even when that means going against practices which are strongly rooted in the collective memory. The aim of his work is to help everyone to enjoy the happiness of a gardener who is at one with the many forms of life that live together in our gardens.

Conference rates

Base rate (excluding travel): 400€ /incl. tax
(travel beyond 50 km = +0.30€/km for acknowledgement of receipt)

Conferences last from one hour to ninety minutes.

Subjects include but are not limited to:

  • Any gardening topic on request

  • Permaculture, zero-input gardening

  • Plant care with essential oils

  • Dry gardens

  • Rose bushes


Jean-Yves Meignen writes a regular column for Rustica Magazine.

With the France Bleu Vaucluse journalist Daniel Morin, he co-wrote a collection entitled “Mémoire de mon jardin”: a bouquet of practical tips and tricks and popular sayings… a basket full of notes on how to help seedlings succeed, how to nourish the soil, to protect your plants, care for your tools, save water, make labels, harvest seeds, preserve fruits and vegetables, and keep your house smelling fresh.

In 2019, he published the book “Zéro intrant au jardin” with Rustica.
This guide offers concrete and easy-to-implement solutions for an ecological and self-sufficient permaculture garden.

In February 2020, his new book was released: “Taking care of your plants with essential oils. At home and in the garden” [“Prendre soin de ses plantes avec les huiles essentielles. À la maison et au jardin”]


Jean-Yves Meignen regularly offers training courses at the Gardens of the Abbaye de Valsaintes on permaculture and other subjects.

He also offers training sessions on the use of essential oils in the garden for garden professionals: landscapers, as well as local green space service providers.

A six-hour-plus training day

Several formulas available on request.

Découvrez la boutique du Jardin de l’Abbaye de Valsaintes

Sur place ou en ligne, nous vous proposons un large choix de produits.

Des rosiers, plantes de jardin sec ou aromatiques ainsi que des produits naturels pour entretenir votre jardin.

Des produits locaux aux saveurs et senteurs de la Provence sont également proposés.

Vous retrouverez également nos livres de jardinage, et les livres de Jean-Yves Meignen.