Visit Les Jardins de la Mansoniere
The Jardins de la Masoniere are in Saint Ceneri le Gerei in the Basse-Normandie department of northern France.
Les Jardins de la Mansoniere, won fifth prize for the "Best Park in France competition, Le Top des Parcs, 2007". It was voted one of the favourite French gardens of 2013, 'Le Jardin Préféré des Français', by the French television programme France 2.
Explore the Jardins de la Masoniere
The gardens of Monsieur and Madame Mansome have developed around a beautiful stone house and has gradually increased in size and developed into a number of garden rooms which flow beautifully one to another.
There are nine differently themed areas in the garden including 'the rose garden, the garden of perfume, the garden of the moon and the patio garden. The 'Jardin Calme' with its lovely camelias is the favourite of the owners. Our favourite was probably the patio garden featured below with its emphasis on plants with golden leaves.
One of the first gardens you see as you enter the gardens is the large formal rose garden which has parterres of clipped box surrounding rose bushes and arches of climbing roses over the pathway.
Next the moon garden has a blue, white and green colour theme and on to the calm garden with a distinctly Japanese influence. The scented garden includes roses, viburnum, daphnia, lilacs, lavender and lilies.There is a long border in one part of the garden planted very much in the English style with a mix of bulbs, perennials and shrubs.
Everything in the garden is beautifully thought out and invites you to take time to soak in the atmosphere. There are plenty of benches to enable you to sit and enjoy the sight and scents of the gardens.
When you have had a good wander around you can have a cup of tea in the Salon de Thé.
The Jardins de la Mansoniere is located in Saint Ceneri le Gerei which is one of "the most beautiful villages" in France, making the trip especially worthwhile.
The gardens have featured in most of the major garden magazines in France including 'Mon Jardin et Mon Maison' and 'Rustica'.
Les Jardins de la Mansoniere garden guide
This garden is situated to the West of Alencon in Lower Normandy.
Address: M et Mme Manson, Les Jardins de la Masonerie, 61250 Saint Ceneri le Gerei, Orne
The gardens are open to visit from mid April 20 to the end of May Friday, Saturday and Sunday 14.30 to 18.30; June, July and August every day except Mondays and Tuesdays 14.30 to 18.30; Sept 1st to 21st, Saturday and Sunday 14.30 to 18.30.
Visits cost 7 euros for adults and over 12s and 3 euros for under 12s. As well as the gardens there is a small shop and tea rooms.
During the summer the gardens often host candlelit concerts allowing you to savour the gardens throughout the evening and listen to some lovely classical music concerts at the same time.
Gardens to visit nearby
Not too far away are the lovely Jardins of the Manoir de la Bonnerie which include a good collection of day lilies - one of my favourite plants. The Jardin de la Petite Rochelle is another prize winning garden in the area and contains more than 200 hydrangeas and rhodedendrons.
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.