Published 30/05/2022 Reading time: 7 min
Enjoy to the full the gentle beauty and rich colours to be admired when visiting Normandy’s parks and gardens. Make the most of the Eure’s verdant settings. Our county boasts a whole variety of green spaces, from arboretums and flower-bordered parks to water gardens and rose gardens, open to the public through the seasons. Breathe in the fresh air, savouring the poetic atmosphere of our botanical gardens. Walking along flower-filled paths in the Eure’s natural sites, take in the rainbow of colours. Immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere of our parks and gardens, wandering around them on a day out, or perhaps as part of a green weekend getaway.
Visit Claude Monet’s gardens in Giverny
Monet’s gardens open to the public every spring. From the end of autumn and through the winter, the gardeners work behind the scenes to be able to offer visitors the finest new floral displays paying homage to the great master of Impressionism. Claude Monet chose Giverny in Normandy for its verdant setting in the Seine Valley. Here, in the département, or French county, of Eure, the artist laid out splendid water gardens that he immortalised in his famous series of canvases, Nymphéas (Water Lilies). Still today, dahlias, busy lizzies, roses and begonias, among many other species, fill the borders and overflow onto the paths around the Maison de Monet, Monet’s house. The play of light the artist so loved to capture on canvas can also be experienced in the Clos Normand, the walled garden. The Jardins de Claude Monet overall display a whole palette of colours. The areas dominated by reflections and shadows transport visitors back to those Impressionist paintings that became so famous from the late 19th century on. Make the most of a weekend in Giverny, falling under the spell of this enchanting Normandy village.
Château du Champ de Bataille gardens
The unique, staggering gardens surrounding the Château du Champ de Bataille have earned the place the nickname of ‘‘Normandy’s Versailles’’. This gem is located in the heart of the Pays du Neubourg area. The gardens are the brainchild of Jacques Garcia, the owner of the place, who oversaw the colossal works, imparting these formal French gardens with all their splendour. Clipped box hedges and copses incite visitors to wander around, discovering water features and fountains along the way. You’re transported to another world exploring the grounds, the sublime historic château serving as the backdrop. Admire the successive array of compositions blending with nature across the gardens, such as the green outdoor theatre or the Temple to Leda. There are six stages for visitors to explore: mineral; plant; animal; human; consciousness; and the spiritual… the successive stages going from the material to the ethereal world.
Château de Vascœuil gardens
Midway between Rouen andLyons-la-Forêt (a member of the association Les Plus Beaux Villages de France), the gardens at the Château de Vascœuil add a colourful facet to this historic property. The Crevon River runs through the estate, imparting a bucolic atmosphere. A perfect harmony has been created in this place. The art installations dotted about create a dialogue with the remarkable tree-lined alleys and multi-coloured borders. Day visitors quickly grasp the love that the great 19th-century French historian Jules Michelet developed for this manor during his stays. You’ll see how, while art is now king at Vascœuil, botany is queen! Note the exotic rare plant specimens growing alongside more classic Normandy species. Enjoy the delightful palette of colours to be discovered from spring through to autumn. Different atmospheres have been created thanks to the inspiration of the landscape gardeners and the skill of the gardeners involved.
Exploring Harcourt Arboretum
The Domaine d’Harcourt is an unmissable site in Normandy. It combines both historical and natural heritage in the one spot. Covering over 11 hectares, a two-centuries-old arboretum surrounds the eponymous château. Over 500 species of trees rise skywards in this corner of the Eure close to the Abbey of Le Bec-Hellouin. A playful trail for children leads them through green settings in harmony with the surrounding nature. Look out for certain giant trees – some measure over 40m in height and some are over 150 years old. Make the most of this tree-filled park skilfully maintained by a team of gardeners working for Eure County Council. In addition, many events are put on here, enabling visitors to learn, at their own pace, about the sometimes well-hidden secrets of the plants that thrive in this place.
Located in the Eure Valley between Louviers and Val de Reuil, the Jardins d’Acquigny provide a splendid green setting for visitors to enjoy. Wander through these romantic grounds set close to exits from the A13 motorway in Normandy.The place was laid out in the Ancien Régime. A formal French garden was designed around the Château d’Acquigny. The plantings also take into account the way the river meanders through the grounds. The Château d’Acquigny counts among the most beautiful châteaux in the Eure and boasts a remarkable orangery too. The combination of architectural and natural heritage to be admired in this beautiful place enchants visitors. Although the gardens were left in a sorry state as a consequence of the two world wars, they were lovingly restored in the second half of the 20th century. Acquigny’s flower-filled gardens have been awarded two French horticultural accreditations, as an ‘‘ensemble arboré remarquable’’ and as a ‘‘jardin remarquable’’.
Relaxing in Evreux Botanical Garden
During a heritage tour organised by the Comptoir des Loisirs d’Evreux or after a good shopping trip making the most of the town’s many boutiques, explore the Jardin Botanique d’Evreux. Located right in the city centre, this park is a green lung lovingly laid out by the town’s technical department and skilful gardeners. Enjoy a well-deserved pause in this relaxing space. The greenery blends in with Evreux’s historic heritage here, in the form of a former convent, the Clos des Capucins. In the 19th century, the botanical garden acquired even greater prominence, lying between the new train station and Evreux’s Notre-Dame Cathedral. Today, it’s certainly a great asset for city life. Appreciate the works of art displayed here, the peaceful atmosphere at the fountains and the joy children take in discovering the place. Also, do explore the tropical displays in the great greenhouse (‘‘serre’’ in French) created here in 2017 and holding over 400 species of plants.
The Clos de Chanchore in the Pays d’Auge area
The Clos de Chanchore lies hidden away between Cormeilles and Bernay. This private garden has evolved over more than 30 years thanks to two exceptionally keen gardeners. In a bucolic corner where the Pays d’Auge area meets Le Lieuvin, these grounds with their fine trees make an unmissable place to visit on a weekend around Cormeilles in Normandie. The owners themselves greet you on the guided tours, organised from springtime, with an annual calendar of visiting times to consult. So, you can discover the gardens through the seasons. The great variety of shrubs, trees and colourful plants proves enchanting. Visitors who appreciate gorgeous plants will be in their element, what with the rare species that form part of the unique planting combinations here.
Discover the Jardin du Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny
The garden at the Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny incites contemplation. Wandering around it, see how this garden reflects the cultural site beside it, devoted both to art and modernity. According to the season, take in the different atmospheres. Created in 1992, the garden blooms with some 22,000 flowers! The place provides a modern take on the renowned formal French garden. The landscape gardeners here have put together borders featuring many biannual flowers. So, visitors are assured of a palette of colours to enjoy in both spring and autumn. This garden does of course pay homage in its own way to Claude Monet, echoing the works of the great Impressionist painter. In the midst of August, you may even find yourself surrounded by hay stacks, referencing Monet’s famed series on that theme. Environmentally-friendly management of the garden is carried out on a daily basis. Respect for nature is top of the agenda here; that’s one of the reasons why the garden at the Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny has been awarded French national accreditation as a ‘‘jardin remarquable’’.
Enjoy the peace of Jardin Aquatique de Broglie (or Broglie Water Garden)
Close to the Charentonne Valley greenway, this water garden makes an unmissable stop for those who love nature. If cycling from Bernay to Broglie, make time to stop at this unique spot in the Eure. The Jardin Aquatique stretches across a former meadow once attached to the Moulin de Fresney. The setting encourages you to explore. Visitors are free to wander around the pools and make use of the picnic tables below the town’s historic centre with its shops. Over 10,000 plants thrive here, close to the banks of the Charentonne. Enjoy relaxing in these peaceful surrounds, amidst weeping willows, bamboos and so many more plants.
Park and gardens of the Château du Troncq
The Château du Troncq hides away in its green setting, in a unique spot between Grand-Bourgtheroulde and Le Neubourg. This private home, built back in the 17th century, welcomes visitors in July and August (for precise dates, see www.chateaudutroncq.com). Remarkable lime, or linden, trees mark out the place’s verdant setting, covering over nine hectares, which visitors can explore. The painterly scenes to be witnessed amidst the garden’s beds and borders change with the seasons. Birdsong and flitting butterflies add a poetic atmosphere to this peaceful place. Make sure to take in the gardens in the main courtyard, the cour d’honneur, and the orangery, with the elegantly proportioned Eure castle standing out in the background.
We encourage you to make further green discoveries around the Eure. There’s a good number of arboretums for visitors to enjoy exploring, admiring remarkable trees, including those at Conches-en-Ouche, Lyons-la-Forêt and Canappeville. If you fancy a family tour amidst all manner of wild animals, the Parc Animalier Biotropica welcomes visitors to its seven universes featuring surprising species.