While spending the weekend at the Baie de Somme, in Picardy, in the north of France, we visited the Jardins de Maizicourt. The garden surrounds a small chateau built at the beginning of the 18th century.
St Valéry sur Somme, Baie de Somme, Picardie. I've often wondered when a chateau is a chateau, as the term is often used in French to describe any old and grand house. It appears that a home may be called a chateau if it was built for and/or once the home of a member of the French nobility.
Chateau de Maizicourt, Picardie.
Indeed, the chateau of this tiny country village was built for Louis-François de la Houssoye, Lord of Maizicourt, a captain of the cavalry who was made a Chevalier de Saint Louis, in 1703, an honour considered to be the predecessor of the Legion of Honour.
Chateau de Maizicourt, Picardie. The chateau, being rather small, was probably his country get away.
Maizicourt In 1989, M. and Mme. Guevenoux bought the abandoned and partly derelict property and began creating the gardens that cover ten hectares (24.7 acres) today.
The garden has been awarded the prestigious label Jardin Remarquable.
Created in 2004, the official label is granted for 5 years to private gardens that are open to the public and that are of particular histoire, aesthetic or botanical interest.
The new owners had no historical information about the gardens and so everything has been created from Mme Guevenoux imagination. She says that she is inspired my Queen Marie Antoinette's gardens at the Chateau de Versailles and indeed, considerable vision was necessary to create today's magnificent park from the mess of weeds, brambles and ancient trees
We first visited the French style gardens in front of the chateau, including the Potager, Kitchen Garden (E).
Topiary is a feature of the garden .....
As well as sources of water ...
The walled gardens have an ancient church as their backdrop.
And ancient walls to grow plants up ....
After seeing the gardens that surround the chateau, we walked up the left side of the park to the Cloître, Cloisters (H).
This 'room' is surrounded by a hedge that has windows cut into it, which offer views to other parts of the garden.
Then to the Pediluve, Foot Bath (I), where some turtles were bathing in the sun.
The Pigeonnier, Pigeon House (K), is a formal garden, which even though it was early in the season for flowers, there were many poppies, irises and roses.
Like Marie Antoinette's Hameau at Versailles, Mme. Guevenoux has stocked her domain with farm animals.
The far end of the park is surrounded by this long avenue, which ....
boarders on to the surrounding farm land.
We walked back towards the chateau through the Terasses (Q), an Italian inspired garden.
This is the Tombeau d'Albert, Albert's Grave (I)!
The free roaming chickens help keep the population of slugs and snails in check.
Mme.Guevenoux, a tiny energetic lady, working in her garden.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of the delights of this remarkable garden.
Thank you for visiting
Les Jardins de Maizicourt, 80370 Maizicourt, Somme; Tel: 03 22 32 69 64.
The gardens are open from 1 May to 15 October; from Monday to Friday 14.00-18.00. In June and September the gardens are open every day from 14.00-18.00.
The entrance price is 11 euros for adults and free to under 12s.
This is a useful site in English for planning visits French Gardens.