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.