Thursday, 17 May 2012

Normandy in bloom - fabulous French gardens

Foul weather forced me across the English Channel this week for a couple of days in search of French gardens. My eyes were opened wide because Normandy has some of the finest gardens I've seen in the last few years! So in the run up to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show next week, I'll be reviewing the gems that I found in France - both large and small.
All the properties I visited were within an hour's drive of Dieppe and although it's a little early in the season to see these gardens at their best, it's certainly whetted my appetite for future trips. So watch this space in the next few days and join me on my whistle-stop tour!
Mention French gardens and the one that comes to mind is Giverny (above) - one-time home of Impressionist painter, Claude Monet, but there are many other properties nearby that are just as spectacular and much less busy. Giverny is to France what Sissinghurst is to England in terms of crowds. Hope you'll join me as I bring you new ideas for garden visits a hop and skip from the south coast. A bientot!


  1. Normandy is a lovely region, and with great growing conditions. I look forward to seeing what you've discovered there.

    As for Giverny, I've never actually been; I've always been a bit put off by the aggressive branding of that place, though I've heard it should really be worth a visit in mid-summer. (I've been to Sissinghurst, though, and on the perfect day where burst of rain alternated with rays of sunshine, so there was hardly anybody there at all.)

  2. :-) Shall be looking forward to see them through your eyes. I love the English gardens but they got a very big competition when I discovered those in Normandy. The landscape there (as the culinary variety) is so much the same than in our part of Belgium.

  3. I have been told my a French reader to visit Kerdalo. Perhaps you will be visiting for me?

  4. It's a while since I did any garden visits around Dieppe, but I've visited about 40 gardens further south in Normandy, around Alençon, and I can vouch that there are dozens worth visiting. You do have to be careful of opening times, though, as almost all are privately owned and are only open certain days/hours/times of year. Double check to avoid wasted journeys!