what I'm doing, what I'm seeing, what I'm thinking

06/08/2010

Gardens: Manoir d'Archelles

Installment two of the Manoir d'Archelles story (Normandy,France):
The Garden

I left you last week with a glimpse through the arch to the walled garden. In this post I hope that the images will go some way to convey the beauty and character of this exquisite, unique garden.

I will just explain something about the particular nature of this garden; it's what's known as Jardin du Curee (curate's garden) and its a tradition which is still followed in France. The garden is a mixture of flowers and vegatables, grown closely together so although beautiful this isn't solely an ornamental garden. I particularly love this tradition partly because the juxtsposition of vegatables, fruit and flowers - of formal and informal - is so visually interesting and partly because the garden is utterly functional. It has been laid out and worked in more or less exactly the same way for 500 years. In the 16th and following centuries the garden fed the occupants of the fortified manoir - in the 21st century it provides food for the current family and those lucky enough to eat in the wonderful restaurant. It's the functional workaday nature of the garden which gives it its particular charm - along with the setting among wooded Normandy hills.
Monsieur (the senior of the messieurs!) works the garden from dawn to dusk - it's his passion and lucky for us!






















































































































































































































I've stayed at the Manoir d'Archelles probably 8 or 9 times in the last 5 years - on the way to the south of France and on the way back - and each time I can't resisit taking more photos! Early morning, late evening, early summer, late summer - there's always a slightly different atmosphere and shapes and colours to catch your eye.

The best of it is, as a guest at the manoir hotel or restuarant you can wander through this garden to your heart's content!


The village Arques La Bataille, where the Manoir is located, is only 10 minutes from the channel port of Dieppe on the Normandy coast. Here's the website: Manoir d'Archelles



See two other posts about the Manoir:
the architecture &
the interior



2 comments:

  1. These gardens are so beautiful. I love the mix of flowers, fruit, and vegetables. It has a very relaxed and lived in look like a very nicely tailored piece of clothing that has been well worn and well loved.

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  2. We used to stay in Dieppe for a few days after twice yearly visits to Paris fashion week and the castle ruins at Arques la Batailles were a magic find, our children took torches and explored the undercrofts. Castle ruins with billowing clouds of ivy are very special. This Manoir garden looks special too though we never visited it, certainly a lesson in horticulture I am tempted to draw on for some replanting at Priory House.

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