Visit Les Jardins de Kerdalo
Les Jardins de Kerdalo were the winner of the "Best Park in France 2004 prize". Designed by Prince Peter Wolkonsky, this park was also classed as a "jardin remarquable" and added to the list of "des Monuments Historiques" in 2005.
Explore the Jardins de Kerdalo
This garden was created in 1965 and is reputed to be one of the best gardens created in Europe since the second world war. Its inspirations are Italian, Chinese and there is even a part which invokes a tropical jungle. The gardens had become somewhat abandoned but upon the death of Peter Wolkonsky his daughter Isabelle Vaugham, a horiculturist who trained at the RHS garden, Wisley, lovingly brought them back to life.
The Jardins de Kerdalo is a beautiful garden covering 18 hectares, one of the star features is the grotto surrounded by giant leaves of gunnera. Another favourite is this wisteria covered pergola.
If you visit in spring there is a fabulous collection of rhododendrons, Acers and azaleas. Prince Wolkonsky was a great plantsman and had vast numbers of plants, including many rare shrubs and trees delivered to his garden.
When you enter the gardens the first thing to strike you is the house. Its a beautiful old stone house with lovely small paned windows and has a really welcoming feel.
The lawn outside the house is edged with some lovely plants including large clumps of agapanthus but walk to the stone balustrade at the end and the 'wow factor' of the garden really hits you.
Below is a garden laid out in the French formal style with four rectangular borders but these have been planted in an informal fashion with a lovely mix of yellow and blue leaved or flowered plants and the result is really superb. Geraniums, Artemisia, grasses, Alchemellia and Penstemons all feature.
Leaving this section the garden becomes informal and has been planted up with an amazing collection of trees. The shapes and colours of the trees have been selected by a real master and the garden is wonderful.
The garden edges on to a river and as you approach you pass a pond and tree ferns and even a hidden grotto surrounded by some massive gunnera. Walk across the stepping stones to see the mosaic in the grotto.
Make sure you don't miss this garden if you are in the area.
Jardin de Kerdalo garden guide
The gardens of Kerdalo are situated close to St Malo and St Brieuc on the Cotes d'Armor. Admission to the gardens costs 8.50 euros for adults and 4.50 for children over 4.
The garden is open in April, May, June and September, Mondays and Saturdays, 14h to 18h, and July and August, every day except Sunday from 14h to 18h .
Address: Les Jardins de Kerdalo, 22220 TREDARZEC
Gardens to visit nearby
The Jardin Exotique de Roscoff is always a suprise as it is situated on the north coast of France but has planting suited to a Mediterranean climate with lots of succulents and cacti thriving in the micro-climate.
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.