The Bois des Moutiers is located in Varengeville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France. This estate of 30 acres (0.12 km2) is well known for its rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias, which were introduced and naturalized among local flora. The house and gardens, both dating from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, are a first-class example, unique in France, of the work of the famous English partnership of architect Edwin Lutyens and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll.
Gardens Near and Far ep. 6 – Bois des Moutiers
The house of the Parc du Bois des Moutiers was created for Guillaume Mallet by Sir Edwin Lutyens and is built in the Arts and Crafts style for which Lutyens is reknowned. To help him with the garden he collaborated with Gertrude Jekyll as he did quite often.
The result is a wonderful garden and park with the added benefit that the 12 hectares are in a peaceful valley running down to the sea. Another benefit is the acid soil which allowed the planting of numerous rare species including Himalayan rhododendrons, Chinese Azaleas and more. The Normandy climate means that these have grown magnificently too and there are rhododendrons which are 10 meters high.
The park also has a lot of roses and hydrangeas and so summer too offers a lot to see. Near to the house are beautifully planted flower borders full of perennials, roses and small shrubs. The colour scheme is predominantly blue and white with accents of pink.
Bois des Moutiers – Public opening
Guillaume Mallet and his wife Marie-Adelaïde died in 1946. Their son André and his wife Mary inherited the estate that had been badly damaged during the war. The whole family devoted their energies to restoring the estate to its original condition. In 1970, the Mallet family opened their property to the public.
The Bois des Moutiers became the first private garden in France that could be visited by the public. Very soon, it was considered to be one of the most beautiful gardens of France and was listed as a historical monument in 1975 before being awarded the status of a “Remarkable Garden of France”. Since its opening, two million people have visited this park.