Monday, May 16, 2011

Les jardins de Séricourt, France

Les jardins de Séricourt were the last gardens we visited on our trip to Normandy last year. I think we may have been suffering from garden burn-out by the time we got to this one, which may explain why I don't feel the urge to write a long and tedious ramble about it. It is in no way a criticism of the gardens, which were quite beautiful and certainly worthwhile. So instead I’ll just leave you with a photo journey through them.

Very briefly, the gardens were designed by landscape architects Yves and Guillaume Gosse de Gorre, who used a series of rooms to divide the large grounds. The rooms are quite intimate in the center on the garden, while on the perimeter they open up and merge into the surrounding landscape of forest and meadow. Several of the central gardens were designed around the theme of war, with some interesting representations of it. A characteristic feature at Séricourt is the exquisite topiary and hedge work, which is used throughout the gardens to create its most memorable images.

Rambling roses mark the entrance to the gardens.

Interesting clipped shapes are dotted throughout, surprising the visitor in unexpected places.

The first of the war-themed gardens: a field of yew soldiers on guard.

In Flanders fields ...

Bomb craters eerily similar to the real ones we had just seen on the beaches of Normandy.

Figures scattered in the field - soldiers, villagers?

An outer garden merges with the field and forest beyond.

Séricourt's trademark topiary and clipped hedges - the whole garden is an inspiration on how to use green sculptures.


  1. I'm really curious about why the garden uses the war theme. I think I can guess that it's a reference to WWII. Is the garden near the beaches of Normandy? What were your feelings seeing these parts of the garden, if I may ask?

  2. It may seem a bit unusual for a garden, but the theme of war is something frequently encountered throughout Normandy, and not just on the coast (this garden is actually quite far inland). To North Americans, WWII often seems like a distant memory, but it’s not so easily forgotten in these parts. American and Canadian flags are still flown in many little villages, and it seemed to me that people are still genuinely grateful for the sacrifices made by others to liberate their towns. The war is something that is still on people’s minds, and I felt like the garden was just another expression of this reality. I didn’t find it dark or morbid, but rather a beautiful memorial to an important aspect of local people’s lives.

  3. Beautiful, I'm really enjoying your garden tours. Lots of places to visit for me later on this year...thanks!

  4. We visited this wonderfully peaceful garden when we visited our son who lives in Boubere at the end of August 2011.We were the only visitors on that day a lovely sunny day. We took many pictures and have shown them to friends who in turn hope they will be able to visit at some time.Such dedicated gardeners who keep it looking pristine. We hope to visit again.