Gardens of Haute-Normandie
Departing on the last day of the Congress, you travel to Normandy to the department of Seine-Maritime. Here there is a wealth of remarkable gardens that thread their way from Varengeville to Giverny, from the sea to the River Seine: country gardens set amidst old cider orchards, lush rolling pastures, and mixed woodland, mostly owned by passionate gardeners with excellent plant collections. Many of the gardens are private, where you will meet the garden owners and head gardeners. The group will be accompanied by a linguistic guide (speaking French, English and Italian) and a botanist from the Jardin des Plantes of Paris to introduce the local vegetation. You stay in a hotel close to the sea in the port of Dieppe from where it is a short stroll to a bustling centre with many good restaurants from which to choose.
Day 1: Friday 10thJuly
Depart from Jardin des Plantes, Paris, at 14.00hrs by coach, driving out of Paris to the famous Jardin Plume, with its crisp formal structure infilled with strong blocks of grasses & perennials and with open views to pasture. This is a very beautiful garden owned by Sylvie & Patrick Quibel. Tonight we stay at Hotel la Presidence, Dieppe with an evening meal included at the hotel.
Day 2: Saturday 11th July
The small village of Varengeville-sur-Mer has an unusual abundance of choice private gardens. Today we visit three outstanding complementary gardens that summarise the diversity and abundance of this remarkable village. L’Etang de Launay is a beautiful, very private, woodland garden with a large collection of choice trees and shrubs, many selected for outstanding bark or foliage. It has been 20 years in the making by its owner Jean-Louis Dantec. Le Vasterival is a famous woodland garden created from the 1950s by the late Princess Greta Sturdza. It comprises extensive collections of herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees (notably Betula, Viburnum, Acer, Hydrangea). Le Bois des Moutiers was designed in 1898 by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, garden designer Gertrude Jekyll and owner Guillaume Mallet. The Arts & Crafts house is set within enclosed gardens with the extensive park beyond sweeping down to the sea, reputed for its mature Rhododendron and Magnolia specimens, it also has fine herbaceous and mixed shrub planting. Lunch will be included today. Return to Dieppe and a free evening to visit one of the many restaurants in this busy port.
Day 3: Sunday 12th July
Firstly, a morning visit to Giverny to see the highly popular Jardin de Claude Monet and to meet head gardener, James Priest. There will be time to find your own lunch before a special botanising walk along the species-rich chalk cliffs between Giverny and La Roche-Guyon with great views across the Seine Valley. Return to Paris by coach arriving at Jardin des Plantes at approx. 18.00hrs.
How much & what's included
The tour price is 780 EUROS per person. There is a single supplement of 100 EUROS per person levied by the hotel for those not sharing a room.
The price includes, bed & breakfast for 2 nights at 3 star Hotel Mercure Dieppe, La Presidence with one additional lunch and one evening meal. The price does not include extras at the hotels, or travel insurance.