Garden of “les Renaudies”, Colombiers-du-Plessis, Pays de la Loire (Mayenne)
A short distance off the road from Alençon to Fougères, in the department of Mayenne close to Gorron, is “Les Mézerais” at Colombiers-du-Plessis, home to “les Jardins des Renaudies”.
The garden of les Renaudies is a landscaped botanical park that was created by a local nurseryman in 1988 and first opened to the public in 1993. It’s now run by a charitable association. A visit to the garden of les Renaudies can be combined with a tour of the castle and rose gardens at Lassay-les-Châteaux and the superb gardens of la Pellerine, both nearby.
We visited this garden for the first time earlier this year, and we plan to visit again this weekend when the “Jardins d’Antan” fête takes place there – a celebration of traditional crafts such as basket weaving, leatherwork, pottery, etc.
The garden highlights in early June were some very unusual trees and shrubs and an excellent collection of primulas, a modern, Japanese inspired “dry river” feature, the water gardens and watermill. The veg garden was not as good as ours, though! We hope the huge beds of hemerocallis, which were then coming into bud, will be at their best when we visit in a few days time.
The garden is gently undulating (but wheelchair accessible), covering 10 acres and containing over 3000 different plant varieties and species, most of which are clearly labelled (unusual!) so that visitors can make note of any that take their fancy.
In addition to the gardens, the outbuildings house an “ecomusée” which includes some excellent displays of old tools used in traditional crafts such as clog making, barrel making, wheelwrighting and general agricultural use.
Beginning of April (which sounds a bit early – not sure how much there would be to see in April) to end of October.
Tuesday to Friday 13h30 to 18h00
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 14h00 to 18h00
Parking 50m from the garden entrance. Gift shop, refreshments available.
The small plant sales area was disappointing – we made do with pinching a few seed heads from the water garden and bought one weigelia, the only healthy looking plant on display. A shame, as there were a number of plants, trees and shrubs in the grounds that we would have liked to add to our own collection. Unfortunately the plants appear to be bought in and nothing like what’s in the garden, more’s the pity.
Tel. +33 (0)2 43 08 02 08
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 the Jardin des Renaudies at Colombiers-du-Plessis with a visit to another garden a short distance to the south, la Pellerine gardens. At weekends in season, a visit to the castle and the rose gardens at Lassay-les-Chateaux could also be squeezed in on the same day – please note, the main château at Lassay has restricted opening.
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