Le Domaine de Trévarez
I have never seen so many hydrangeas in my entire life.
They are every where in central Brittany and in full bloom. Every church, every public park and every home garden is smothered in blue and purple pompoms.
This is just one random street corner in some random village.
When we found out that there was a public garden with a collection of over 100 varieties, we had to check it out. The gardens surround this late 19th century manor house, which had an interesting history of its own. We’ll get to that shortly.
First the hydrangeas! The bottom of the garden featured a hedge of 7 to 8 foot tall bushes in every hue from deep purple to wedgewood blue to paper white.
Most bushes were the traditional pompom variety.
After a walk through a very pretty wood we headed for the main hydrangea display.
Hydrangeas and ferns boarder both sides of the main path in this part of the garden. It goes for over 150 meters which is about a tenth of a mile.
There were some interesting varieties in this part of the garden but, unfortunately, they were not labeled.
Half way down the path, this oak tree dwarfs the mixed hedge in the foreground.
Nice view from up here. Looks like they were setting up for a wedding down at the church on the estate.
I wonder which color of hydrangea they will choose for the bouquet?
In the rest of the garden, there are some great specimen plants like this gunnera manticata or Brazilian giant rhubarb. Central Brittany has a very temperate climate so you often see tropical plants thriving in sheltered conditions.
We followed the waterfall path up to the more formal part of the grounds near the manoir.
This rill feeds the stream below and leads you up to the manoir.
On the way, there’s a murky reflecting pool and a fountain embellished with giant lobsters. The poor maintenance kind of added to its romantic, lost Italian garden feel. The party at this manor house clearly ended some time ago.
Built in 1893 by a local government official, James de Kerjégu, the house was in its time a modern house designed for entertaining. In 1940, the house was taken over by German forces and bombed by the RAF in 1945. The manor has been stabilized structurally and partially rebuilt but not restored.
Many of its grand features remain intact.
The belle époque details are gorgeous!
There’s even an art nouveau bedroom that survived. It’s not quite as elaborate as the one in the Musée D’Orsay, but still amazing to see it fitted in its original location.
It must have been a stunning house. This is the central staircase.
You can imagine the mix of carriages and early 1900s automobiles pulling up to the front of the house a la Downton Abby. The little Renault that was parked out front just doesn’t fit the scene.
In addition to the church, the grounds also include a huge potager surrounded by a stone wall and glass house. It has not been renovated, I’m sure due to budgetary restrictions.
The stables are also stunning. Oh look, more hydrangeas!
I love it when the horse barn is nicer than my own house! This area in the center was actually the garage for the automobiles. Now it houses some peculiar art installation.
So that’s it! We found our house. It’s a fixer upper, but it’s got everything we need: original features, garden, stables, views for days! If only…