Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Nursery At The Edge Of The Universe


Well maybe not quite but this one took some finding as have many of the nurseries we have visited over the years. I've come to the conclusion that there must be some sort of formula that decrees the optimum location for siting a nursery. It involves the back of beyond, narrow long bumpy lanes with few passing places and more than often than not a seemingly ferocious large dog or two to contend with when you when you finally put a foot out of your vehicle. On this occasion my phone came to the rescue just in the nick of time, as we had wandered up and down a lane and back again for several miles, with himself muttering and chuntering at the wheel. Modern technology considerately suggested that we should be the other side of the junction back on the main road where soon all became abundantly clear. Then in a jiffy or so it seemed we turned into the entrance to  'La Jouberie'. 

I had seen a little advert for this nursery and gardens in the spring 2014 edition of the Hardy Plant Society's magazine 'The Hardy Plant' and had clocked that we may be in the vicinity sometime when we were on holiday. So I scribbled a few details down on paper to take with us just in case and fortune duly favoured me when we visited towards the middle of July.


'La Jouberie' in Normandy is owned and run by a English woman Alison Sykes. The surrounding gardens have been created from previously uncultivated land from 2008 and are still very much a work in progress. We were greeted by Alison who gave me and another regular visitor a guided tour pointing out some of her favourite plants and combinations along the way. Talking plants as well as the very bright and windy weather conspired against taking many photos and some that I took turned out to be rather bleached. There is though an extensive photo gallery on the nursery website. Alison explained that Normandy is a windy area which can be challenging for gardeners.




Attached to the gardens is a small but well stocked nursery specialising in herbaceous perennials and shade tolerant plants. I could have bought several plants but was constrained by the fact that it would be a few days before we landed back home. I selected a little seed raised purple flowering scabious as a memento. I also added a couple of plants to my wish list - a stunning white hemerocallis 'Light The Way' as well as a highly scented phlox by the name of what I thought Alison said was 'Blue Wave'. The former looks as if it could be a challenge to find whilst I think that I might have misheard the name of the latter or it could be a very old variety, as I am unable to find any reference to it either in books or on the web. I may email Alison to enquire. I would certainly make another visit if ever find ourselves in this part of the world again.

With a special thanks to himself for providing the photo at the top of this post and for his never ending patience and tenacity in playing hunt that nursery.

12 comments:

  1. Consider the experience as a treasure hunt Anna and what a lovely looking gem you have found! First time that we get an insight on a plant nursery in Normandy.

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  2. You are absolutely right about nurseries being difficult to find. The last two we visited have led to much muttering and chuntering but have provided exceptional plant hauls. Enough for me to consider the next one on my list when sufficient time has passed.

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  3. It looks like a wonderful place to visit, such beautiful surroundings as well as a little gem in itself.

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  4. It looks a lovely place, I'm not surprised you brought some plants home. They will be a permanent reminder of your holiday.

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  5. It is always so satisfying to find a tucked away nursery full of treasures. This one seems to be ' vaut le voyage' as the Michelin Guide rates places. Or even ' merite un detour'. Glad you found some nice plants to bring home.

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  6. What a lovely little nursery I expect they only think locals need to know where it is - you often find that they stock unusual and different plants that you normally find - if they sold common plants there wouldn't be any point don't you think?

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  7. Now that would be a nice job - running a nursery in the windswept depths of the Normandy countryside! Hope you find those plants on your list Anna.

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  8. Well worth the chuntering, I would say! At least I know that we make detours to more golf course for the Golfer to add to his scorecard collection than we do to gardens and nurseries.... ;)

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  9. That looks very enchanted, Anna, and I will keep it in mind, should I ever go north. So you've spent another holiday in France? Don't forget to come and see me if you ever get to my corner. :)

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  10. Spent many an afternoon muttering and chuntering in the car Anna - I thought it was all part of the 'gardening experience'!
    Thanks for reminding me :)

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  11. Looks a fantastic place. I'm always on the look out for new nurseries and Wellyman is equally patient in tracking them down. We'd love to travel around that part of France next year. We won't have had a proper holiday for 3 years by then and we thought we might do northern France as we've never been to France together. Any tips would be much appreciated. ;) It's surprising how much impact wind and bright sunshine has on images. I'm jealous of garden photographers who get to shoot early on but then I'm not good with early starts ;)

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  12. Thanks for all your comments. It was definitely a case of 'merite un detour' Chloris. I will keep your invitation in mind Annette. WW - about time you had a holiday - will email you with some suggestions :)

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any
specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.