Jardin Retiré at Bagnoles-de-l’Orne
Tucked away in the Southern Normandy spa town of Bagnoles-de-l’Orne is a delightful little private garden that opens to the public at weekends from mid-April to end of September.
“Le Jardin Retiré” is a beautiful garden that exploits its shady character as a virtue rather than a hindrance – if you’ve a spot in your own garden where the sun rarely shines then this one is full of ideas to inspire you. We visited it on a rainy day in July this year but despite the damp it was a wonderful garden visit.
Despite its mature appearance the garden has been entirely created over the past 15 years by Lawrence and Annie Blanchais, and though it only covers 2500 square meters it is packed to the gunnels with all sorts of shade-tolerant plants.
In this secluded setting surrounded by shrubs and trees you can see roses, clematis and flowering perennials but most of all plants that are valued for their foliage – hostas, bamboos, heuchera and interesting shrubs.
This intimate little garden is enriched with many decorative and creative touches – arches, fountains, statues and so on – which enhance the magic of the place. Part of the garden was designed by James Priest, the new head gardener at Monet’s garden in Giverny.
Before you leave check out the conservatory where you can buy garden ornaments, metal trellises, plant supports and sculptures (not dissimilar to some of those to be found at the nearby Le Jardin Boutique, Champsecret, Bagnoles-de-l’Orne which we suggest you visit if you want a reasonably priced souvenir for your own garden.
Practical Information for Le Jardin Retiré
The Jardin Retiré is located in Bagnoles de l’Orne, the famous thermal spa in southern Normandy. The garden is situated a couple of hundred metres up the road from the Casino by the lake in the town centre. There’s an information board outside the garden gates – go in and wait by the front door and the owner should eventually appear!
Open 15 April to 30 September 10 a.m to 6p.m, Friday-Saturday-Sunday plus public holidays.
2011 prices 3€ per person, duration of visit approx. 1 hour.
Tel : 02.33.37.92.04.
Address: Jardin Retiré, 14 avenue robert cousin, 61140 Bagnoles de l’Orne