Saturday, 16 June 2012

Summer Holiday...


So I thought it was about time I sat down and wrote a post about our little trip across the water...

We went to France. On a bus. On a Brighton and Hove bus company tour. Touring the gardens of Normandy. Like a proper old lady. It was excellent.

The only downside was we spent too long on the bus getting to and from the gardens rather than actually in the gardens but still, it was lovely.

The actual 'just sitting on a coach travelling around Normandy part was quite enjoyable in itself. Lot's of fields, orchards and odd little houses with barking dogs whizzing past.

We went to Rouen and visited the EXACT spot where Joan Of Arc was executed. Gnarly.

We visited some lovely gardens. My favourite was les Jardins du Pays d' Auge. Absolutely wonderful. I wanted to go and live there forever.

Here is a link to the website - if you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods I strongly urge you to pay it a visit.

We visited Giverney. It was so jam packed with visitors that you couldn't really appreciate it. The water lillie's were not yet out, and most of the paths were closed but still, amazing none the less. The house is wonderful too.

Irises were the show stopper plant when I was there - all out in their full glory. It made me want to plant a lot more. Irises are my favourite flower. The colours were so intense - not just the Irises but all the bedding - hurt my eyes after a while!

That was why I loved du Pays d' Auge. So lush and green and calm. Lots of water features everywhere, metal watering cans and rusty tables with statues. Nooks and crannies and ferns and herbs and herringbone paths - just my thing. Very soothing on the eyes after the razzmatazz of Giverney.

We visited the Chateau and Gardens of Vendeuvre. I wasn't too fond of the formal gardens but the surprise water gardens and more naturalistic parts were wonderful.

Also well worth a visit even if gardens are not your thing as the Chateau housed some seriously creepy automatons. Creepiest in the whole of Europe I'd say...

Being a vegetarian was hard work. The bread and cheese France is famous for was of course wonderful. Although by the forth day of eating bread and cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner it was getting rather boring!

We met some great people, had a laugh and I even caught the sun. On one side of my face. The side that faced the coach window...

Was glad to get back home though.

And wow. Did I have work to do once I got back.

While I was living it up with the old folks of Brighton and Hove, in France, my garden went crazy.

Plants bolting everywhere - the slugs and snails demolishing my seedlings and other plants wilting away having gone without water for a week.

I read somewhere that once you 'get into gardening' - you never want to go on holiday again. And it's true! I was worrying about my plants and vegetables THE WHOLE TIME... sad really! So now I can only go away from November to February.

So here come the photos...all taken on my mobile as I forgot to bring the camera. Yes. Really.

What I saw the most...

Private Residence. I wonder what their garden is like?

 Chateau Vendeuvre.

I couldn't resist taking a photo of this bench. I loved the colour. It was a reoccuring green in the garden at Vendeuvre.

A bridge in the surprise water garden. I did wonder which end of the bird the water was going to emerge from!
The famous Bridge and breathtaking Wisteria.

These stag heads scared me as I walked past!

I adored all the statues and secret doorways cut into the hedges.

I thought these stone troughs turned into a water feature was really creative. It sounded lovely.

This was the entrance up into the scented garden. So many lovely brick paths and terracotta pots.
There were watering cans dotted all over the garden.
I spent a happy 5 minutes just sitting here listening to the birds. It was so peaceful.

Amazing Acer.

I couldn't stop admiring all the brick paths! Some people kept asking why I wasn't paying attention to the plants but I think the hard landscaping is just as important.
I thought this looked lovely. Will keep an eye out for a bust...
I would sit here and drink tea everyday if I could.
I thought this carved stone heart was so cute and looked lovely against the glossy ivy.

Huge Insect Hotel that was taller than me! Has inspired me to get on with mine...

Last but not least one of my favourite views from the whole trip.

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