During our visit to the garden belonging to Stephane Marie I told Christine about the Jardin du Chateau at Vauville on the west Cotentin. We have visited this garden more than any other since we bought our house in France, and took Pam and Andrew Tompsett on one occasion and Lis and John when they visited us, just before the house was dissembled for the dry rot treatment.
Nick and I drove across one afternoon taking Christine with us. She mentioned that her aunt who lives on the west Cotentin had said that the garden is not as beautiful as formerly. Sadly we found this to be the case. Admittedly there has been little rain in recent weeks so the ground beneath the plantings seemed particularly bare but it seemed to me that many of the plants that form the lowest storey were simply not there. Sure enough there were ferns and some other hardy ground cover plants but no specialities. You could argue that we had timed our visit at an unfortunate time. The rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas were over, the hydrangeas were only just beginning with flower-heads being largely green, and the Hemerocallis and Agapanthus which form an important element of certain displays were all in bud. The net result was a noticeable lack of colour except in the small area of exotic perennials. Nevertheless it was a pleasant afternoon rounded off perfectly with a cup of tea and a lemon pancake at the Salon de The!