Chateau de Brecy
Laid out behind the rear façade of a charming provincial farmhouse which has been given the ambiance of a château, this is one of the very few remaining examples in France of a garden of the first half of the 17th century, The spectacular Normandy garden was built for Jaques le Bas, a relation of Jean de Choisy of nearby Balleroy, and is attributed to François Mansart who is known to have designed Balleroy.
Renaissance in inspiration, this walled garden is intimately related to the house and slopes upward towards the top of a hill between two orchards, thus having only the sky for a vista. Each terrace is a separate garden and a work of art on its own. The garden ascends over five different levels towards a striking gate decorated with wrought iron renderings of tulips and acanthus leaves. Punctuated with lichen-covered stone urns, crouching lions, garlands of flowers and pilasters, the garden contains a clipped box parterre de broderie, lawns with box topiary, wrought ironwork and a chapel. It foreshadows the later classical French gardens with the mansion at the centre.
The garden has been beautifully restored by its owners, with the assistance of Monuments Historiques.