Are you a green-fingered fan of French gardens? Head to Pays Boulonnais in the country’s northernmost tip to explore five châteaux and botanical gardens to delight horticultural visitors.
The château’s tale began at the end of the 18th century with the Delporte brothers’ ambitious construction, and the formal and botanical gardens soon followed. There are over 3,600 species of indiginous and exotic plants being reintroduced and the hightlight of the year for visitors is the annual festival of
plants that takes place the first weekend of June.
2. Baie de St-Jean, Wimereux
Address: Rue Sainte-Adrienne
Tel: +33 (0)3 21 10 45 80
This very natural and pleasant botanical garden is just a few steps from the town centre in Wimereux on the site of a Napoleonic port. Over two hectares there are seasonal plantings that embrace biodiversity – all of which can be explored via wooden walkways around the lagoon. There are also plenty of exhibitons and shows to keep your interest all year-round.
3. Château de Caucherie
Address: Rue de la Caucherie 62280 Saint-Martin Boulogne
Tel: +33 (0) 3 21 31 62 62
email: [email protected]
The big claim to fame for Caucherie – a family home open to the public on heritage days during September – is that its gardens were designed by none other than landscape architect André le Notre, he of Versailles fame. The castle itself was reconstructed in the 19th century faithful to the 17th century style and the gardens are among the most beautiful in Pays Boulonnais.
4. Jardin Ephémère, Boulogne
Address: Place Godefroy de Bouillon in the fortified town of Boulogne-sur-Mer
This temporary themed garden that springs up in the heart of Boulogne-sur-Mer each year is stunning, if a little surreal. Last year’s car-based installations in the grand old Place Godefroy de Bouillon induced double-take astonishment and carried thought-provoking themes such as vehicles being consumed by the nature and geography that they were designed to dominate. The next one willl be ready in June.
5. Séricourt, Pas-de-calais
Address: Jardins de Séricourt, Yves Gosse de Gorre, 2 Rue du Bois 62270 Séricourt, Pas-de-Calais
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +33 (0)3 21 03 64 42
Situated not far from Pays Boulonnais between Arras and Le Touquet and boasting the impressive label ‘jardin remarquable’, Sericourt is a park set over four hectares. It’s classed as one of France’s most beautiful gardens and visitors are guided through a series of ‘rooms’. Artists come to the garden from May onwards for the Painting on the Grass event, while June sees a fortnight of rose-themed displays and events.