In keeping with the changing moods and light of Normandy’s skies, the parks and gardens in Calvados offer remarkable variety: historic or modern, botanical or landscaped, bizarre or wild.
1. Jardins du Château de Brécy
Address: 14480 Saint-Gabriel-Brécy
The Château de Brécy gardens are comprised of balcony gardens surrounded by stone balustrades and statues, with an exceptionally high and finely decorated gate.
Both the castle and gardens are listed as Historic Monuments (C17) and it is one of the few remaining examples from this period in France. Legend has it that Mansart, working at Balleroy castle, was the creator of these gardens.
2. Jardins du Château de Vendeuvre
Address: Château de Vendeuvre, 14170 Vendeuvre
Within an immense park, three successive gardens: a formal garden, a utility garden and, in the centre, the lush vegetation of the ‘surprise’ water gardens, nestling amidst the groves and decorative features (a temple, kiosk, waterfall, labyrinth…). Enjoy a visit of two labyrinths: the rose and yew labyrinth and the field labyrinth before following the trail and unearthing the hidden rabbit. Visit also the exotic garden. The castle and miniature furniture museum are also open for visits. Tulip Festival in April.
3. Jardins de Castillon-Plantbessin
Address: 14490 Castillon
Garden comprising eight successive small gardens.
Over 2,000 plant varieties presented to visitors or potential purchasers, in the nearby garden centre. Second garden, created 15 years ago: balcony gardens adorned with Italian-style topiary trimmed yews and a labyrinth at its extremity. Pushchairs and dogs are not allowed access to the gardens.
4. Jardins du Pays d’Auge and Ecomuseum
Address: Route des 3 Rois, 14340, Cambremer
Enjoy a multitude of plant species in a variety of settings across this 17th century farm, covering three hectares of lovely dell.
Themed gardens, unusual objects, traditional tools museum and many half-timbered buildings imbue the site with a totally unique atmosphere. Crêperie on site.
5. Parc et Jardins du Château de Canon
Address: 14270 Mézidon-Canon
A 20 hectare estate, perfectly preserved since the 18th century. French-English style park with period decorations: marble statues, various rock styles, 300-year-old trees, waterfalls, water mirror and hydraulic system, maze, huge enclosed gardens, ‘chartreuses’ small gardens, organic farm – sale of farm produce and discovery farm with a variety of pets.
6. Jardin de Jumaju
Address: Les Fieffes, 14350 Montchamp
Garden created over the past years by a couple of enthusiastic amateur gardeners. The old roses take pride of place with over 1,500 varieties, forming France’s largest private collection.
Surrounded by a large variety of rare shrubs and perennial plants. From early June to late August, the rose garden boasts fine colonies of iris, peonies, hostas and hydrangeas.
You won’t have to look far for a florid façade or a verdurous vista in Calvados – their gardens are one of the very best reasons for visiting France. More than 30 parks and gardens await you.