le Jardin de Maizicourt

An amazing find in the heart of Picardie, not far from the lovely walled town of Montreuil which is full of illustrious restaurants and hotels. (Have a look at Chateau de Montreuil, la Grenouillere and the less Michelin-endorsed but equally delicious son of: Froggy's - away from gastronomie and back to gardens..) the Jardin de Maizicourt has been created since 1989 by the current bubbly owner Catherine Guévenoux, who bought the house with 'trees growing through the walls'.

She has restored the dovecote, installed parterres and a terrace around the house, and instigated wonderful planting based on broad brushes of shrubs with herbaceous planting below. Sedums, hydrangeas and roses are planted against box and yew in large swathes to create an ambience of calm and decorated order. Catherine Guévenouclaims inspiration from her travelling childhood which included time in Bristol and Morocco.

 Like some of the other best Normandy gardeners she must also have been inspired by the Princesse Sturdza who started the local trend for high pruning (see Le Vasterival) . At Maizicourt Catherine has lifted the skirts of the bosque to 20ft, allowing light in whilst keeping out  the heat of the midday sun. She has planted ivy as ground cover and studded the view with whimsical topiary below.


  1. Between Sericourt and Maizecourt which did you prefer ? Did you get a chance to see Chateau de Digeon ?

  2. Interesting comparison - the best thing about both gardens is that they are owner-designed, constantly developing and relecting the owners' interests and characters. Maizicourt is soft and bubbly and slightly eccentric, like Catherine Guévenoux herself. It verges on the ferme ornee in places but the design is really solid - the box balls and tall tree trunks framing the view were stunning. Sericourt has some serious messages and is as you say, edgy, thought provoking and in places uncomfortable. I liked that too - and it stays with you on a more than visual level when you leave. This time we opted for Gilles Clement's Jardins de Valloires over Chateau de Digeon. I have seen your wonderful photos of Digeon though and will have to go one day!

  3. I'd be intrigued to know what you thought of it. [I went too having also visited it in April a few years ago.]


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