Across the square in Coutances from the cathedral are the fabulous Coutances gardens. They are known as Le Jardin des Plantes and are open all year round albeit with shorter hours in the winter. They’re one of Normandy’s oldest public gardens and have a mix of English and French styles.
Every year a theme is chosen and the planting reflects the theme. The theme for the summer garden in 2018 was education and learning. The centrepiece was a ‘blackboard’ which said ‘You tire of everything except learning’.
Over the years, I’ve seen Disney characters, a 2 CV car, a 3 tier cake, bicycles (for the Tour de France), a bee, a frog, Musical notes (for the jazz festival) and a pack of cards. The detail is delightful and I particularly like the way they build 3D structures and plant ‘pictures’ using succulents.
There’s also a children’s playground and a small maze that’s built on a hill. Despite the fact that shops, bars and restaurants are just a minute or two away, Coutances gardens are an oasis of calm.