Petit Bordeaux Gardens, Le Mans, in Spring

Gardens of Petit-Bordeaux

Gardens of Petit-Bordeaux in Spring

Last week we made a spring visit to one of our favourite gardens in all of France, at St-Biez-en-Belin just south of Le Mans.  Every year we treat ourselves to a season ticket to Petit Bordeaux gardens so that we can revisit several times in the year without breaking the bank – guests allowing!

We had never been to this garden so early in the year, so we saw things in a different light. Hellebores and spring bulbs, camellias, early magnolias and evergreens were to the fore.  In another couple of weeks the rhododendrons and azaleas will be out and we hope to get back then.

Going so early in the year gave us a chance to see the architecture and planning of the garden, which can be difficult once the plants and shrubs are in full leaf and have filled out.

Winter Alterations

We found that there have been a lot of changes over the winter – as there are every year.  One of the reasons we go back to Petit Bordeaux time after time, is that there’s always a new discovery.

This time we found that new slate and gravel paths had been installed, standing stones erected here and there with snippets of poetry, and complete new views and vistas opened up. The route around the garden also seems to have been improved, making it less likely that you’ll lose your way and miss something along the circuit.

"Pintades" = Guinea Fowl

We had a chat with Sylvie and Michel, who are true passionate gardeners with a love of plants and have become our “garden friends”, swapping garden news, advice and plants with us.  As usual we came home with a bootful of new additions for our own garden at La Basse Cour, including two “pintades” or guinea fowl sculpted in metal, which now reside beneath the apple tree in the back garden. They’ve settled in well and are a lot quieter than the real thing!

Picnic near the Gardens

After our visit we went to our usual spot for a picnic, down by the stream at the old lavoir of St-Biez-en-Bélin – take the little road opposite the bar in the village centre, signposted “aire de repos”. It’s about a kilometre down the road.


The Petit Bordeaux  garden is open 1 April to 15 November, every day except Tuesday, 10.00h to 12.30h and 14.00h to 19.00h.

Jardin Petit-Bordeaux website:

If you like gardens, check out the other gardens near us on our B&B website Gardens of Lower Normandy and Upper Pays de la Loire.

All the gardens are within easy reach of our bed and breakfast accommodation

Access to Petit Bordeaux garden

Like to visit gardens? Also see Gardens to Visit #2 – Jardins de la Mansonière, St Céneri-le-Gerei

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