• Jardin Botanique de Vauville – a Jungle in Normandy

    28th September 2010Places to VisitStephanie Donaldson

    I do love a mad garden – and this is certainly one of glorious eccentricity  and ground-breaking horticulture.  Using mainly southern-hemisphere plants, the mellifluously named owners Guillaume Pellerin and his wife Cleophee de Turckheim have created something more akin to a jungle than a Northern European garden.  So far Guillaume has planted 1500 palms, but he hopes eventually to have 4,500. The garden swallows you up as you weave your way between groves of hairy-trunked palms that give way to thickets of bamboo and clustered cordylines. Ponds look like tributaries of the Amazon,  giant eucalyptus are lulled into flower by the Gulf Stream and Eryngium pandanifolium grow into huge plants 2.5 metres tall.  It is all wonderful and extraordinary – as are Guillaume’s leather pantaloons which have the texture and appearance of a well-loved club armchair!

    And here’s some more French gardens to visit :