Vauville Botanical Garden is tucked away on the Cotentin peninsula in Normandy. It looks out onto the Channel Islands and the headland known at Le Nez de Jobourg. Visiting the garden is very much like entering a Tardis as 11 acres unfold in front of you.
The site benefits from a microclimate where the evergreen trees, shrubs and plants can flourish. Palm, Cypress and Eucalyptus trees provide shade. Bamboo, ferns and aquatic plants contrast with the more colour amaryllis, hydrangea and callistemon. There are over 1,000 species of plants to enjoy.
Vauville is on the coast to the west of Cherbourg. The garden is open each afternoon from April through to September. In October it’s only open at the weekends. April and May are the best months to visit according to the owner. The garden was created in 1948 by Eric Pellerin and it’s now his grandson who owns it. Alongside the botanical garden is a farm which you can also visit.
The tour of the garden costs 9 euros. You can take a map of the garden or an audio guide and they’re both available in English. There are 22 points to explore as well as a tea room and shop.
Vauville Chateau sits within the grounds of the botanical garden. This impressive building dates from the 12th century. The main tower, circular wall, moat and dungeons are from the 12th century. The two wings were re-built in the 17th century. The north wing (on the right hand side) was extended in the 19th century. Originally the building ended at the second chimney pot. As part of the extension project a third chimney was added together with the tower and weather vane. The chateau is lived in by the owners so cannot be visited. However, you get a great view of it from the castle courtyard gate. You can also catch glimpses of the rear of the castle as you explore the garden.
So for more information on the Vauville Botanical Garden head over to their website. Alternatively, take a look at an interview with owner in the video below.