I obviously hope you enjoy browsing through the postings on here - do feel free to leave comments as it's always good to see who's visiting and to hear about other people's experiences - after all you never stop learning do you?

If you've any gardening questions or you live in Brittany and are looking for some gardening help - be it design work, planting or general gardening or you simply would like some advice, please don't hesitate to CONTACT ME or call me on 0033 661 77 23 89 (from UK) or 0661 77 23 89 (from France).

Happy gardening!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Places still available on New Brittany Garden Tour in September...

An exciting new Independent Garden Tour in the wild and beautiful Côtes d’Armor on the north coast of Brittany - September 14-17th September 2010 still has some places available....

Clare Whately of French Gardens Today is leading the Tour in association with Cricketer Holidays - “I’m starting to think the French are rather better gardeners than we are” was the comment made by a guest who came with Clare last week. Come with us and see if you agree with her!

We will be visiting Les Jardins de Kerdalo, Le Grand Launay, and two other private gardens in the area.

£395 per person which includes visits to these four gardens [two of which never open] welcomed and guided by the garden owners, two lunches, a party with the garden owners at a local Château on the final evening, travel advice and a list of recommended Chambres d’Hôtes, Hotels & Restaurants, coach travel between the gardens each day to and from our Meeting Place.

Accommodation and transport is not included on this Tour and is by your own arrangement – using, if you wish, our personal recommendations where rooms have been held for you.

Clare will be your Tour Leader and will interpret for you in the gardens. If you would like more information about these tours, please her on 01420 541321 or to book call Cricketer Holidays on 01892 664242.

These gardens in northern France look superb in September. You will find inspiration for your own garden and new ways with familiar plants.

Tour Details and Itinerary

15th and 16th September: two days, £395 per person. You will require accommodation for three nights: 14th, 15th and 16th September.

This Tour is based around the world famous garden at Kerdalo, on the wild and beautiful Côtes d’Armor between St Malo and Roscoff. We will explore the rocky coastline and deep-cut inlets, granite villages and misty valleys to arrive at these extraordinary and very different gardens. The owners of the three other gardens were drawn here by the Prince Wolkonsky’s inspiration and promise of good soil and mild climate. Two never open to the public. Their owners will be our guides.

Tuesday 14th September: independent arrival at accommodation reserved by you, using if you wish, our recommendations.

Wednesday 15th September

Les Jardins de Kerdalo. Kerdalo represents the lifetime’s dream of Prince Peter Wolkonsky who aged 65 moved here and started work to achieve one of the finest gardens in France. He chose this manor farm in its enclosed valley with natural springs, overlooking the River Jaudy, for its soil and climate. His vision involved terracing the valley, channelling the streams into a sequence of lakes and pools, and creating shell-lined pavilions, grottoes and pergola, as well as formal gardens and meadows. Since the Prince’s death in 1997, his daughter and her husband, Isabelle and Timothy Vaughan, gifted graduates of Wisley and Kew, have taken over this garden and breathed new life into it. Christopher Lloyd was a supporter and gave them massive encouragement.

Our lunch will be served here at Kerdalo by the owner, Isabelle Vaughan.

Le Grand Launay; The owner a, Parisian film-maker and journalist, arrived at this abandoned 17th century manor farmhouse in 1973 to find a three acre garden protected from the wind, well-irrigated and with rich, deep soil. Later they met and like the ideas of garden designer Gaël Bôedéc. This partnership has produced the remarkable and unusual contemporary garden we see today and which was honoured with the Societé Nationale d’Horticulture de France: Prix Bompland in 2008. Black walls and wrought iron, paving and canals reflect the dark grey of the house although this colour is usually cloaked by the greenery. Box, lonicera, osmanthus, beech and yew have been tailored into steps, balls, tables, clouds and other unusual shapes.

Thursday 16th September

A private garden which is rarely open. The owners were directly inspired by Prince Wolkonsky to buy this late 17th century house just over twenty years ago and to create his own remarkable garden on the borders of an estuary. The variety of soil, drainage, shelter and microclimates have allowed him to offer the right growing conditions to a huge range of plants – yet he has achieved visual harmony amongst this diversity. Themes emerge: the exotic garden, the English garden, the garden of the southern hemi-sphere, the magnolia meadow, the aquatic garden, the waterlily and the iris gardens. You will see some rare treasures and learn from this dedicated and passionate gardener who looks after his plants and borders entirely single handed.

Another garden - never open to the public. The owners discovered this farm with its glorious views over the bay in 1991. They have designed their garden themselves and look after it with the help of only one other gardener. The garden has a formal plan with an intimate atmosphere; there is an awareness of colour theming but this does not dominate. You will see unusual and interesting plants, often treated in new ways – many shrubs are trimmed into mounds and other shapes. When Christopher Lloyd was invited to choose a garden which inspired him for Erica Hunningher’s ‘Gardens of Inspiration’, he selected this one and wrote that ‘the  owners have the highest standards in design and cultivation’. Our lunch will be served here.

Our End of Tour Party on will be held at the Château de Kermezen on Thursday evening.

Friday 17th September: Depart

Each Day starts at 9.30am and ends at 5.30pm at Les Jardins de Kerdalo.

Price includes:

· Visits to four outstanding, often very private, gardens. Each visit is exclusive to our group

· A welcome and personal guided tour at each garden by the owner and/or the Head Gardener

· Two course lunch each day usually offered by one of the garden owners

· A party on the final evening - champagne/canapés with the garden owners and other French friends

· An interpreter to translate for our garden guides

· A list of recommendations for local Hotel/Chambres d’Hôtes accommodation where rooms are being held for you to book if you wish

· Comfortable daily coach travel between the gardens with fruit juice/Breton or Normandy biscuits

· Travel advice, restaurant suggestions, maps, directions to meeting places and contact information

· Clare Whately will be your Tour Leader
For more information about this tour, please call Clare Whately on 01420 541321

To book, please call Cricketer Holidays on 01892 664242


debsgarden said...

Wish I could go! My dream vacation would involve touring some great gardens like these. It should be wonderful!

Miranda Bell said...

Thankyou for popping over Debsgarden - sorry you're not able to come over for this but you never know - one day perhaps - there are some beautiful gardens here in France as there are everywhere but I guess everywhere has it's own style too - hope you've had a good week... Miranda