Le Jardin La Boulaye à Belle-Île-en-Mer by Véronique de LABOULAY – Château de Bénouville

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Le Jardin La Boulaye à Belle-Île-en-Mer by Véronique de LABOULAY – Château de Bénouville

The Jardin La Boulaye on Belle-Île-en-Mer

Twenty-two years ago, the Jardin La Boulaye was but a six-hectare wasteland nestling in an abandoned dell on the wild coast of Belle-Île-en-Mer. From its former chaotic state, Véronique and Rodolphe de Laboulaye have transformed it into a garden whose vast perspectives, exposed to the wind and the sea spray, stand alongside serried enclosures through which mineral and plant life prevail. Terraces decked with roses and agapanthus, santolina and boxwood, stone and iron sculptures, pathways adorned with heathers and asphodels, hydrangea borders, ponds and waterfalls, former walls and quarries, old willow trees – fallen and covered with moss and lichen, gorse labyrinths in seven concentric circles, apple orchards near an age-old wash house, a rockrose-bordered stairway… all now punctuate this meandering poetic maze.  The Jardin La Boulaye was awarded the “Coup de Coeur 2011” prize by the Association des Journalistes du Jardin et de l’Horticulture (gardening and horticulture journalists’ association).

Véronique de Laboulay

Véronique de Laboulaye©Christian Maillard

Sensitive to nature since their childhood, Véronique de Laboulaye and her husband Rodolphe had already created five amateur gardens in places where their professional lives had led them, in France and the United States. Visits to Vasterival, to the Parc des Moutiers and Kerdalo had aroused their desire to create a garden in a dell by the sea, with a stream, a view and with family ties. In 1993, their dream came true on the wild coast of Belle-Île-en-Mer, in Brittany’s Morbihan, as they embarked on transforming six hectares of wasteland and on highlighting the vestiges of a bygone agricultural legacy. Véronique de Laboulaye incessantly combines her own inspiration with that of nature, to enhance her garden with new settings. She opens it to visits, by appointment, all year round.

Further reading:
Jardin La Boulaye, Belle-Île-en-MerVéronique de Laboulaye, 2011