Garden scenery Garden Travel logo

Colorful Normandy & Monet’s Garden

We’ll see centuries of garden making on our tour of gardens in Normandy, from formal 17th-century planting schemes to 19th-century impressionistic designs to 21st-century beds filled with movement and whimsy. Together we’ll explore castles, wander streets of historic towns and soak up the beautiful French countryside. Enjoy it all with a small group of fellow garden lovers and your hosts from Garden Gate magazine.

Tour Complete

This tour occurred on August 8-15, 2023. Past tour information is preserved for informational purposes only. Visit Tour Highlights below to see a recap of this trip.

Garden scenery



August 8, Tuesday – Arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris

August 9, Wednesday – Evreux, Champs de Bataille

August 10, ThursdayChateau de Brecy, Bayeux, Jardin de Castillon

August 11, Friday – Honfleur, Les Jardins d’Etretat

August 12, SaturdayChateau de Miromesnil, Jardin Agapanthe

August 13, Sunday – Jardins d’Angelique, Le Jardin Plume, Rouen

August 14, Monday – Jardin de Valerianes, Monet’s Garden at Giverny

August 15, Tuesday – Depart or continue travels


Day 1, Tuesday, August 8: ARRIVAL

Tour members arrange their own transportation to Paris and to the Sheraton Paris Hotel, where a reservation has been made (included in tour price).

We will gather for a welcome dinner this evening at the hotel restaurant (included in tour price).

Day 2, Wednesday, August 9: EVREUX, CHAMPS DE BATAILLE

We’ll leave our airport hotel and travel to the historic town of Evreux, where we’ll enjoy some free time and lunch on our own.

In the afternoon, we’ll visit Champs de Bataille, a 17th-century chateau that French designer Jacques Garcia began restoring in 1992. The formal gardens were recreated from original sketches, and new additions maintain the spirit of the baroque designs. Here we’ll find terraces, a grand canal, temples and arches. This garden is listed by the French Ministry of Culture as one of the Notable Gardens of France.


We’ll start our day at Chateau de Brecy, a masterpiece of a garden that grows around a historic 17th-century castle. Here meticulously pruned yew and boxwood hedges and topiary extend for miles in a series of terraces that each feature a different style of planting. Formal gardens at their best.

We’ll spend midday in the medieval city of Beyeux, on the Aure River. Visit the cathedral built in Romanesque and Gothic styles, the 19th-century botanical garden, take a walk along the river, or see the famous UNESCO World Heritage tapestry depicting the conquest of England by William, Duke of Normandy, in 1066.

We’ll spend the afternoon in Jardin de Castillon, a more contemporary garden created by plantspeople Colette and Hubert Sainte-Beuve. The design is mainly formal, and it features eight themed garden rooms, each separated by a yew hedge. See beautiful combinations of ornamentals and perennials throughout the property or sit down for a cup of tea or peruse the attached plant nursery.

Garden scenery


We’ll start the day in the picturesque Honfleur, where the Seine meets the English Channel. It’s easy to see why so many artists have made this beautiful city their home. We’ll be able to check out galleries and shops, enjoy the view of the water and have lunch on our own.

In the afternoon, we’ll visit the enchanting Jardins d’Etretat, a magical landscape that combines contemporary topiary and art elements with the dramatic coastline views. Visitors walk through seven parts of the garden, each designed to elicit different responses. This is an experience you won’t want to miss.

At the end of the day we’ll move to our hotel near in the center of Rouen, where you’ll be close enough to walk to shops and restaurants and explore on your own in the evenings.

Day 5, Saturday, August 12: MIROMESNIL, JARDIN AGAPANTHE

Author Guy de Maupassant was born at the Chateau de Miromesnil in 1850. The property’s large working potager should be in full of both vegetables and flowers when we visit in late summer. Elsewhere we’ll see beautiful flower gardens and a lovely park on this 35-acre property. Don’t miss the 16th-century chapel hidden in the woods.

In the afternoon, we’ll visit much smaller 1.4-acre Jardin Agapanthe, the garden laboratory of designer Alexandre Thomas. Pathways, terraces, walls, watercourses and pools lead you through different experiences in this always-changing garden. Prepare to be surprised by the unique and playful plant combinations.


Today we’ll start at the beautiful and intimate Jardins d’Angelique, which were planted in memory of the owners’ daughter, Angelique, and feature plants in the restful colors of white, pink and blue. They have a particularly large collection of roses and hydrangeas. One side of the house features lawn and a large more casually planted flower border while the other side has a garden planted in a more formal style and displays a profusion of white roses and perennials inside clipped boxwood hedges.

After lunch we’ll visit Le Jardin Plume, a unique garden installed on the site of a former orchard. Owners Patrick and Sylvie Quibel have incorporated grasses and fine-textured perennials with more traditional and whimsical hedges to create a very interesting mixture of contemporary ideas with more traditional ones. They’ve designed it so that no matter when you visit, you’ll find something to enjoy, but we’ll get to see it in late summer, when the grasses and late summer perennials should be at their most magnificent.

In midafternoon we’ll return to Rouen for some free time and dinner on our own there.

Garden scenery


Jardin de Valerianes is the tale of two gardens: Traditional English cottage-style borders bursting with perennials, and a serene Asian-inspired garden complete with bamboo, cloud-pruned trees and a beautiful water garden. It’s the best of both worlds in one very charming private garden!

Our final garden in our time together is artist Claude Monet’s Gardens at Giverny. This garden also has two very different parts: The Flower Garden around the famous Grande Allee, and the equally famous Water Garden and Japanese Bridge. But there is much to explore on this 2½-acre property. And be sure to wander through the home and stroll through the village of Giverny.

Day 8, Tuesday, August 15: DEPARTURE

Our time together has ended, but garden lovers always find fresh inspiration wherever they are. Tour members can choose to return home or carry on the adventure.


August 8Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel

August 9-10Best Western Hotel Môderne

August 11-13BW Plus Hotel Dieppe 1880 Rouen

August 14Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel


Garden scenery Garden scenery Garden scenery Garden scenery Garden scenery
Garden scenery


Kristin Beane Sullivan

In her 26 years at Garden Gate magazine, Kristin Beane Sullivan has been lucky enough to meet hundreds (if not thousands) of gardeners, tour and photograph countless gardens and learn something from every single gardener she’s met. She comes from a long line of farmers and gardeners, and today tends an ever-expanding urban garden with her husband and three children who are a lot more help in the garden than she was at their ages.

Jack Coyier

In his 13 years at Garden Gate magazine, Jack Coyier has photographed some of the most beautiful gardens across the country and has come away inspired by the spirit and passion of the vast gardening community. Jack wants his imagery to enrich the gardening experience of the Garden Gate community and help gardeners achieve their dream gardens. When not on the road photographing, Jack spends time in his suburban garden with his wife, twin boys, a herd of deer and a smattering of rabbits.