Gardens “la Pellerine”, la Pellerine, Pays de la Loire (Mayenne)
A little way along the road to Brittany from Alençon, in the department of Mayenne close to Ernée, lies the little village of la Pellerine. On the eastern outskirts of the village lies the remarkable Garden of la Pellerine, owned by Sylvie and Alain Doinot who live with their family in the 17th century manor house around which the gardens are laid.
We visited this garden for the first time this year, on June 6th 2009, and we will make sure to visit again later in the year. When we were there the roses were just coming into bloom and the herbaceous borders were bursting with luxuriant new growth.
We were particularly taken by some of the specimen trees and shrubs dotted throughout the grounds, and some of the biggest gunnera manicata (giant spiny rhubarb from outer space) we have ever seen, with leaves 10 feet across and fanning out well above head height.
We found that the garden is divided into numerous smaller sections linked by narrow paths and terraces: these are variously identified as the terrace garden, the English garden, the water lily garden, the 4 seasons walk, etc (see the diagram).
However, what the plan does not show is that the gardens of the Pellerine have recently been extended and now stretch well beyond the formal plan provided to visitors. We actually walked around the gardens in a clockwise direction, starting at #8, 10, 11 etc. and found this worked very well. NB the garden areas themselves are not numbered “on the ground”.
We estimate that the gardens now cover approximately 6 acres, but they may be even larger – in any case, make sure you don’t miss the fantastic new water gardens which lie to the east, beyond the “plan d’eau et le grand bassin” (#3 at the bottom of the plan).
First Sunday of May to second Sunday of October, the gardens are open Thursday to Sunday and Public Holidays.
Thursday and Friday 10h00 to 18h30
Saturday, Sunday and holidays 14h00 to 18h30
You can access the gardens via the village of la Pellerine or turn directly off the N12 down a rather rough track. Parking 50m from the garden entrance. No gift shop, but refreshments available. Plants for sale but poorly labelled and of mixed quality.
Tel. +33 (0)2 43 05 93 31
We’ll be adding more gardens during the year, so keep reading! In the meantime, there’s a summary of the gardens near us on our B&B website Gardens of Lower Normandy and Upper Pays de la Loire.
All gardens are within easy reach of our B&B in Lower Normandy
Access to the garden from the B&B:
Googlemaps shows a longer estimated time than it took us – one and a half hours. We combined the visit to la Pellerine gardens with a visit to another garden a short distance to the north, Jardin des Renaudies at Colombiers-du-Plessis – we’ll report on that garden visit shortly.
Like visiting gardens? See also :
Gardens to Visit #1 – Jardin d’Atmosphère du Petit Bordeaux (Pays de la Loire)