Just a short hop by Eurostar to Lille where we changed to a small coach heading towards Normandy but a visit to a wonderful garden broke our journey. Maizicourt in Picardie is a small chateau with extensive gardens created by the owners taking the original trees as structure. Arriving at our hotel in the country, everyone was immediately at home welcomed at Le Clos Masure by Jean-Francois and Patrick who are also excellent cooks.
Gardens around Dieppe included Le Vasterival, looking magical with rhododendrons under-planted with hydrangeas. Created by the late Princess Sturdza who was an imaginative and an advanced gardener. The national collection of hydrangeas nearby was eye-opening and inspiring. One of my favourite gardens, Le Jardin Plume, never ceases to inspire me. Patrick and Sylvie Guibel’s garden was created within a vast agricultural area starting with just an apple orchard. On to Bayeux to visit a delightful private garden before Chateau de Brecy’s fabulous gardens restored by Didier and Barbara Wirth.
On our final morning Monet’s garden was full of colour and exuberance, well worth visiting despite the crowds. Returned to Paris where some spent the weekend and others returned to St Pancras by Eurostar.
Programmed to feature again in September 2014