Holcombe Court Gardens, nr Wellington & South Wood Farm, Honiton 2 July, 2019.
These two gardens offer an ancient and modern experience as you stroll through the gardens of a Grade 1 listed Tudor manor house originally built for the Bluett family, who also owned Cothay Manor and a recently created formal classic garden which uses structure to great effect.
Driver’s tip and refreshments at both gardens is included. Lunch venue - Rumwell Farm Shop Café where food is available at your own expense – a menu selection will be forwarded after May.
We organised a trip to visit several gardens in the regions of Calvados and the Cherbourg peninsula. They ranged from intimate gardens full of colourful herbaceous perennials to large formal parks and gardens surrounding impressive chateaux.
Tuesday 11th June – We leave Nailsea late afternoon for the overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Caen.
Wednesday 12th June – Today we visit the gardens of the Pays d’Auge, classified as “Jardin Remarquable” and which are situated in an area of traditional Norman half timbered buildings. These extensive gardens have many themes including a fragrance garden, water garden, medicinal plants as well as its angels’ garden and devil’s garden! After lunch, we visit Chateau Canon with its famous walled gardens dating from the 18th century, unique in France. We then make our way to our hotel in Bayeux where we shall be staying for two nights.
Thursday 13th June – Our day begins with a visit to the garden of Chateau Brecy which is said to have been designed towards the end of the 17th century and is one of the very few gardens of that period left in France. Four terraces, rising from the back of the house up to a gate and the sky, are contained within the medieval walls. Our second garden is the beautiful Jardin de Castillon-Plantbessin with its hidden places filled with colour, herbaceous perennials and many trees. There is a nursery attached to the garden.
Friday 14th June – The first garden, Le Guesnonniere situated in a small hamlet, is an amazing Japanese themed garden designed and constructed by the present owner. It is a garden full of surprises, containing over 100 acres of different plant varieties, bamboos, water features and a gravel garden. After lunch we visit La Bosquerie, a garden created by a farmer’s wife around their farm house. No pesticides or herbicides are used in this delightful garden where old farming implements are hiding in borders and shady corners. On our way to Carentan, where we stay for one night, we shall make a pause for tea and plant buying in the grounds of Chateau Bellenau.
Saturday 15th June – Today we visit La Bizerie, a two - acre garden of contrasts. The cool, damp valley with its tree ferns and hydrangeas, below the terraces exposed to the light and filled with South African bulbs and Mediterranean plants. In the afternoon we stop at a large nursery where there will be another opportunity to buy plants before we make our way to our hotel in Cherbourg.
Sunday 16th June – Our last day will give us the opportunity to visit a small town garden and possibly, the gardens of Chateau Ravalet both situated on the outskirts of Cherbourg. The park, restored in 1872, is a blend of the French and English styles:- scent and colour, pools, flower beds and magnificent trees. We leave Cherbourg on the late afternoon ferry and arrive in Nailsea about 10:00 – 10.30pm