THE BOTANICAL GARDEN OF VAUVILLE
Botanical garden, exotic garden
Less than half a mile from the coast and exposed to the warm, salty winds of the Gulf Stream, Vauville’s Botantical Garden has a surprising and unique collection of evergreen species from the southern hemisphere acclimatized and cared for by three generations of passionate family.
Vauville, the poetry of organized disorder
Shortly after the end of World War Two, in 1948, perfumer and sailor Eric Pellerin and his wife Nicole began to plant in the cow meadow surrounding the Chateau de Vauville built from the XIIth century. Then begins an extraordinary botanical adventure and a family history. Guillaume Pellerin and his wife Cléophée de Turckheim took over the estate from the 1980s, which they passed on to their second son Eric in 2017.
In Vauville, the main challenge is to provide species from the antipodes with favorable conditions for new roots. To provide protection from the sometimes devastating winds, cypress and eucalyptus trees, robust bamboos and palm groves were planted to create wind breaks and protect the youngest shrubs arrived from South America, South Africa, Asia, Tasmania or New Zealand.
The botanical garden of Vauville is part of a tradition of acclimatizing exotic plants brought to Europe by explorers and botanists who traveled to distant lands. These rare specimens have a status of “curiosities”, they are sought after for their botanical, sometimes medical, also for their aesthetic qualities – colors, bark, foliage, habit – in this, plants and trees are seen as pieces of art, but above all, they convey the imagination of elsewhere.
The spirit of the botanical garden of Vauville is to be a garden in motion. The latter is reflected in the winding layout, by the variations in volumes, by the freedom given to trees and shrubs to grow, by the undulations of the foliage due to the sea breeze, by the succession of rooms of greenery with evocative names : “the traveling trees”, “the path of discovery”, “the blue vault”…which transport the walker, in a constantly evolving garden.
Far from the rigid image of the conservatory, Vauville succeeds in the synthesis between poetry and rigorous scientific approach.
The botanical collection
The botanical collection of the garden began with the specimens collected and imported into the Cotentin by Eric Pellerin when he traveled the world as a perfumer. It is regularly enriched by its successors. In addition to its scientific diversity, all the plants constitute a magnificent palette of shades of green in the foliage of trees and evergreen shrubs, to which the soft or shimmering hues of the blossoms are mixed: amaryllis, echiums pininana, libertia, callistemons, rhododendrons , hydrangeas, pseudopanax, southern cordylins, trachycarpus, strelitzias, eucalyptus, yuccas, bamboos, cistus, anigozanthos, tree ferns, jasmines, edychiums, camellias, fig trees …
The Botanical Garden of Vauville has been listed in the Supplementary Inventory of Historical Monuments since 1992, classified as a Remarkable Garden since 2004, member since 2018 of BGCI (Botanic Gardens Conservation International) but also “Partner Garden” of the Royal Horticultural Society. It is sponsored by the Jardin des Plantes de Rouen in order to be approved “Botanical Garden of France”.