Across the square in Coutances from the cathedral are the fabulous Coutances gardens. They are known as Le Jardin des Plantes and are open all year round albeit with shorter hours in the winter.  They’re one of Normandy’s oldest public gardens and have a mix of English and French styles.

Coutances Coutances

Every year a theme is chosen and the planting reflects the theme. The theme for the summer garden in 2018 is education and learning. The centrepiece is a ‘blackboard’ which says ‘You tire of everything except learning’.

Coutances gardens Coutances gardens

Over the years, I’ve seen Disney characters, a 2 CV car, a 3 tier cake, bicycles (for the Tour de France), a bee, a frog, Musical notes (for the jazz festival and a pack of cards. The detail is delightful and I particularly like the way they build 3 D structures and plant ‘pictures’ using succulents.

Coutances gardens Coutances gardens

There’s also a children’s playground and a small maze that’s built on a hill. Despite the fact that shops, bars and restaurants are just a minute or two away, Coutances gardens are an oasis of calm.

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