Trying to get as much inspiration as possible for our own future garden, we visited quite some gardens in Normandy. Second one we visited beginning of June is the famous Jardin Plume. It was definitely high on my list as I want to also create a garden that combines formal shapes with larger wild looking parts. Arriving at Jardin Plume is already a magical thing.
From the outside nothing but a small arrow shows that you are at the garden. You just park next to a large hedge on a dusty field road and enter the garden by nothing more than a hole in the hedge. Behind the hedge an abundance of colors greet you already to give you a hint of what has to come. It’s also here were you find the nursery where you can buy most flowers that can be found back in the garden. The friendly Sylvie welcomed us and showed us on the map where we were.
When Sylvie and Patrick bought this place in 1996 this was just a big plain badly maintained orchard. The only two tall trees that were still in place didn’t survive some strong gusts of wind and it became quite clear that they would have to start from scratch. What makes this garden so special is the quite strong geometry on which it is based, combined with wild flower meadows, grasses and an abundance of perennials. Surrounded by the gigantic boxwood “wave” hedge you enter the so called feather garden. Here grasses and tall perennials or constantly moving in the wind, creating a wild atmosphere.
In front of the house is the summer garden, where a more classical boxwood grid contains plants in bright warm colors. From here you have a great view over the orchard towards the horizon. When we were there it was quite hot and some older ladies were protecting themselves against the sun with umbrellas. It all gave the garden an even more impressionist feel. In the autumn garden we could find a large collection of aquilegias and poppies. The flower garden was filled with pink, purple and white flowers. Aliums, Lupines and Iris all found their place in wild arrangements. In a maze of grasses you will also find a square pond, a hidden place where you can take a rest and just contemplate a bit.
It’s always a challenge to describe gardens in words and even photographs hardly do any justice to a garden. So once again I hope you’ll have the chance to visit this exceptional garden for yourself. We were there beginning of june, and to be honest, it is probably not the best time to visit. I think this garden really pops in late summer, autumn… which doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy our visit. This garden has something to offer in any season. There was one point of frustration though : the fact that our own garden is not ready to put plants in yet and we had to leave without some of the truly nice plants on sale in the nursery. But we will be back next year…with an empty boot 😉
Le Jardin Plume : 790 Rue de la Plaine, 76116 Auzouville-sur-Ry, Normandy, France
Opening Hours : 2016 from Saturday may 6 th to Sunday october 22 th
Wednesday and Saturday 10 am / 12 – 2pm / 6 pm
Thursday, Friday and Sunday 2 pm / 6 pm
Bank Holidays 2 pm / 6pm
Entrance Fee : 9,50 Euro