You might recognise the name Varengeville sur mer from the Herstmonceux sign post and as our french twin town. This charming little place is located just west of Le Touquet on the northern coast, nestled slightly in land and surrounded by incredible private estates and woodland.
Lime Cross Nursery had the honour of attending a two day plant show last weekend in the centre of the village. The show consisted of 25 or so stall holders, mainly all french nurseries who specialise in a specific plant group. We exhibited alongside our friends Pascal and Maire-Laure, sisters from Champagne who run La pépinière des Laurains, a nursery specialising in conifers. Lime Cross bought along mainly hand grafted Taxodium, Pines and Abies and Pépinière des Laurains contributed some beautiful mature specimens. Our Pinus montezumea Sheffield Park provided some real impact to the stand, many visitors were captivated by the beautiful pine and we were really happy to sell several to local people who will plant them in their Varangeville gardens to prosper for years to come.
We experienced incredible hospitality from the local people, on Friday we were shown around the private garden of Jean-Louis Dantec, a stunning 8 hectare garden exploding with autumn colour and texture and in the evening we attended a dinner party with fellow plants men and women.
We had a chat with the mayor who helps run a family swap between families of Herstmonceux and Varangeville, so he was very familiar with the village and people of Herstmonceux.
There was much Brexit discussion (everyone’s favourite topic!), with opinions ranging from fears that perhaps next year we won’t be able to take part in the show as an English nursery, to many people believing that not much will change.
This little area is a true gem along the north coast, the town has some lovely shops and restaurants and a stunning church of Saint-Valery and its graveyard are clinging to the side of the cliff, 80 metres high above the sea. A short drive from Varangeville right up to the coast you’ll find the delightful seaside resort of Pourville Sur Mer, which has an oyster restaurant and a surf school.
3 Unmissable Gardens to Explore:
The Bois des Moutiers is a vast garden of large alleyways meandering around giant old rhododendrons and bright azaleas. The gardens were designed by Gertude Jekyll and span across 7 levels and The Arts and Crafts house was designed by Sir Edwin Luytens at the age of 25.
The Shamrock Garden is the largest collection of hydrangeas in the world… Covering 2 hectares (4 acres), 1,400 different varieties, among which a large number is unique in Europe as they mostly come from Japan.
The Valleuse de Vasterival was planted in 1957 by Princess Sturdza, who made it an exceptionally diverse botanical park, with more than 10,000 species. This garden has the ability to be beautiful “all year round and from every angle”.