Copyright Le Vasterival
Le Vasterival, Jardin Botanique de France, is a garden for all seasons at Sainte-Marguerite-Sur-Mer in Normandy, and it is particularly suited to visiting in spring.
In 1957 Princess Greta Sturdza, a talented Norwegian, started to create this magnificent garden in a natural style covering 7 hectares of acid soil and a kilometre from the sea. Today it is one of the finest in France, with a huge range of plants which thrive to perfection in its composted earth.
Its informal design with paths, woodlands, glades and immaculate grass walks leading temptingly in all directions, contains a richness of flora in a variety of settings all the year round.
Penelope Hobhouse and Patrick Taylor, in their book, ‘The Gardens of Europe’, state: “Few gardens elicit superlatives as easily as Le Vasterival. It sets standards that all gardeners should aim at but few will attain”.
Princess Sturdza published two books: ‘Le Jardin d’une Passion’ (1997) and ‘Le Vasterival – The Four Season Garden’ (2006). Sadly, aged 94, she died on 30 November 2009.