Jardin des Plantes de Coutances

Jardin des Plantes de Coutances

The town of Coutances is the religious and judiciary capital of Cotentin in the region of Basse-Normandie. As in many parts of France, in the centre of the town is the Jardin des Plantes. But this is not just any Jardin des Plantes.

Designed in 1853-54 by the artist Minel, on the site of the old gardens of the 17th century Hôtel le Poupinel, this garden was given to the town by its last owner, Jean-Jaques Quesnel de la Morinière, in 1850. This Normandy garden is as celebrated as its contemporary in Paris, Le Parc Monceau. It presents a harmonious compromise between the English style and the rectilinear allées characteristic of French gardens. Banks of flowers and well-kept lawns alternate with groups of ornamental trees that originate in other parts of the world.

The garden is laid out on a slope below the old hôtel, which is now used as a museum and gallery. The evidence that it was once a good formal garden still remains. The double stairs with side walls of clipped hornbeam which lead grandly down, have an Italianate air. They are aligned with an obelisque which provides a short vista from the hôtel. Old statues share the scene with modern, whimsical, colourful mosaiculture portrayals of contemporary cartoon characters. A hornbeam labyrinth on a mound brings to mind thoughts of medieval gardens, and it provides a good view from the top.

Over all this, a wonderful canopy of mature rare trees includes: a monkey puzzle, blue and Lebanese cedars, weeping ash, wing nut, tulip tree, holm oak, magnolia, New Zealand beech, giant redwood, purple beech, Japonese cryptomeria, maidenhair tree and a golden rain tree from India.

On a relatively small site with carefully considered municipal planting, which is usually done so well in France, this public garden cleverly combines a wealth of mature features and styles generally found on larger estates.


Our Garden Tours

Passionate about beautiful gardens? Experience the finest gardens on one of our small and friendly group tours. See our tour itineraries here

Download a Brochure

Join a Sisley Garden Tour

Ready to book? Book here or contact us for more details.

Proud to be a Perennial Partner

Grapefruit Digital SEO Agency