If Normandy is a territory with varied natural landscapes, from the Marais Vernier through the Suisse Normande and the cliffs of its jagged coastline, it also reveals a multitude of parks and gardens in which to stroll. Water gardens, French-style, exotic, rose gardens and other art gardens are all settings in which to stroll with family or friends. So on the road that leads to the treasures of Normandy, do not miss stopping in these spaces where plants rub shoulders with water features, works of art, furniture and monuments, because the atmosphere there is always peaceful and rejuvenating.
A wide variety of parks and gardens
Normandy is traditionally a land of gardens, the mild climate of which allows certain daring plants. This is also why it has attracted so many great artists, painters and poets, who came to be inspired by its most beautiful spaces combining trees, plants, flowers, art and monuments. When we talk about the parks and gardens of Normandy, we immediately think of Claude Monet’s essential garden in Giverny. It actually consists of two gardens: the Clos Normand, a flower garden which takes place in front of his house, and the water garden, of Japanese inspiration and which inspired him so much to paint. Always linked to art, the garden in homage to Jacques Prévert in Saint-Germain-des-Vaux is decorated with quotes from the poet and works of art. It has been enriched over time by plants and shrubs offered by friends Prévert, and the ruins of a mill of the XVIII th century, as the creek that crosses the adds to the rustic charm.
The parks and gardens also rub shoulders with the great monuments of Normandy. Like the park installed on the hillside and fitted out as the terrace of the Château d’Eu. Beeches, exotic species, conifers, French garden, the place is perfect to see how the gardens sublimate the heritage. We should also mention the garden of the Abbey of Jumièges, whose century-old trees in the English-style park seem to watch over the remains of one of the first great achievements of Romanesque art in Normandy.
Approaching the sea, we also discover incredible places. Thus, the rose garden of the castle of Mesnil Geoffroy in Seine-Maritime reveals around a monument from the XVIII th century, a sublime French garden and the largest private rose garden in the region. 2,500 rosebushes flourish there, and after enjoying the scents, one does not fail to join the romantic vegetable garden and its ancient vegetables. And then, how can we not mention the gardens of Étretat . These superb neo-futuristic gardens stretch along the Alabaster coast and combine a multitude of plant forms with contemporary art. They also offer a breathtaking panorama of the cliffs of Étretat, a view classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Events that celebrate gardens and flowers
Discovering Normandy and its gardens also means taking advantage of the cultural events that honor the beauty of plants. In Christian Dior’s family villa in Granville, the Dior en roses exhibition is an opportunity to see how this eternal flower which never ceases to fascinate has so inspired the designer. This is how a bed of roses unfolds on the large lawn visible from the winter garden of the villa. The patterns and colors of the flowers are also found in the haute couture models and other accessories selected for the exhibition: dresses, jewelry, bags, shoes, etc.
At the Museum of Impressionism in Giverny, the exhibition Côté jardin, from Monet to Bonnard, for its part, offers the discovery of a hundred works related to the theme of gardens, so dear to Impressionist and Nabis painters. A great way to complete a stroll in the museum garden.