An amazing find in the heart of Picardie, not far from the lovely walled town of Montreuil which is full of illustrious restaurants and hotels. (Have a look at Chateau de Montreuil, la Grenouillere and the less Michelin-endorsed but equally delicious son of: Froggy’s – away from gastronomie and back to gardens..) the Jardin de Maizicourt has been created since 1989 by the current bubbly owner Catherine Guévenoux, who bought the house with ‘trees growing through the walls’.
She has restored the dovecote, installed parterres and a terrace around the house, and instigated wonderful planting based on broad brushes of shrubs with herbaceous planting below. Sedums, hydrangeas and roses are planted against box and yew in large swathes to create an ambience of calm and decorated order. Catherine Guévenoux claims inspiration from her travelling childhood which included time in Bristol and Morocco.
Like some of the other best Normandy gardeners she must also have been inspired by the Princesse Sturdza who started the local trend for high pruning (see Le Vasterival) . At Maizicourt Catherine has lifted the skirts of the bosque to 20ft, allowing light in whilst keeping out the heat of the midday sun. She has planted ivy as ground cover and studded the view with whimsical topiary below.