James Basson


He is an English garden designer living and working in the South of France. His passion for the natural landscape from which he gains inspiration, led him to specialize in dry gardens and the use of natural materials and local craftsmen. He has won numerous awards in the Garden Shows around the world, Gold Medals in Japan, Singapore, Philadelphia and London.


Alpheus and Arethusa

Sicily possesses an immense artistic and cultural heritage that connects it to the past, to its links with Greece and beyond. The myth of Alpheus and Arethusa symbolically unites Greece and Sicily through the story of the god Alpheus, son of the god Ocean and personification of the biggest river in the Peloponnese, and of his nymph Arethusa.
The god Alpheus fell in love with Arethusa, spying on her as she bathed naked. Arethusa though fled from his attentions, escaping to the island of Ortigia, at Syracuse, where the goddess Artemis turned her into a spring. Zeus, moved by Alpheus’ suffering, changed him into a river, thus enabling him, from the Peloponnese in Greece, to travel right across the Ionian Sea to be united with his beloved. Still today the myth lives on in the island of Ortigia, thanks to the so-called ‘Fonte Aretusa’, a stretch of water that flows into Porto Grande at Syracuse.
The plants used are all linked to the territory, from Greece to Sicily, for a Mediterranean garden.