Visit Les Jardins du Manoir de la Bonnerie
Les Jardins du Manoir de la Bonnerie is a charming garden in the Orne department of North-West France.
Explore the Jardins du Manoir de la Bonnerie
The gardens have grown up around the lovely 15th century Manor house with its mullioned windows and round staircase tower.
The gardens have been developed over the last 10 years and make the most of the backdrop of the pretty village of Essay. The garden looks out over the village chapel, the only building to remain from the castle in the village, and the roofs of the village.
The gardens include a substantial collection of hemerocallis and a box-framed rose garden. There is also an open air theatre inspired by a design that was created for the Petit-Trianon at Versailles but never used.
In the garden there are various different areas including a 'French style garden' with squares of box and various topiaries; an Italian garden with an alley of cyprus trees and an English garden with flower borders and shrubs chosen for their colours and fragrances. You can also visit the potager which has fruit cordons and scented roses as well as vegetables.
Trees include the lovely handkerchief tree, Davidia involucrata with its suprising white floral bracts which look like handkerchiefs which cover the tree in late spring. Another favourite is the Robinia pseudoacacua ''Twisty Baby" with its quirky twisting branches. A hundred rose plants ensure the gardens are full of colour and scent and scent is important throughout the year with Daphnias, Viburnums, Eleagnus and honeysuckle all adding a delicious fragrance.
The Jardins du Manoir de la Bonnerie Garden Visit
The gardens are open by appointment only though they are generally open for the 'Journée du Patrimoine' in September also.
Adults 6€50, 6-14 year olds 3€50; under 6s free.
Address: The Jardins du Manoir de la Bonnerie, 4 Rue de la Bonnerie, 61500 Essay
The garden is in the town of Essay to the north of Alencon.
Gardens to Visit Nearby
The lovely Jardin de la Mansoniere is nearby at Saint-Ceneri-le-Gerei. The Jardin Retiré is another superb garden, this one situated at Bagnoles de l'Orne to the West of Alencon.
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.