The Valloires gardens

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Back in July, during our stay in Le Touquet, my Mum and I spent a wonderful day together exploring the gardens of the Abbaye de Valloires.

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We enjoyed the drive, trusting the GPS as it guided us on the scenic route through villages with cute houses and inviting gardens, along dense crops and fields full of cows.  We even proceeded when the GPS directed us down a very narrow-looking path surrounded by marshes and high grasses, praying we wouldn’t come face to face with another vehicle and very relieved to get back onto a proper road and make it to the abbey.

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After a few clouds had cleared, it turned out to be a lovely sunny day.  We took our time to stroll through the five themed spaces on different levels of the property, observing the multitude of different species. Apart from the stunning symmetrical beds at the foot of the abbey, containing roses of all sizes and colours, there is a vegetable patch, a section with ferns, one focussed on the textures and colours of trees and bushes…

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The garden is beautifully maintained and the variety of textures and colours buzzing with pollinators is so rich, it’s hard to know where to direct your attention.

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After a delicious lunch in the garden’s café, sampling the locally grown vegetables and home-made desserts, we went back to the rose garden to enjoy the calm and beauty some more.

Montreuil-sur-Mer

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #187

In between very busy days of work and some rain showers, I had the pleasure of spending some quality time with my Mum exploring the region around Le Touquet.

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We spent one sunny morning walking around the fortified village of Montreuil-sur-Mer, which contrary to its name is actually not at the seaside (anymore). Instead, from the tops of the walls there are the stunning views over the surrounding countryside.

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We were the only people visiting at that time and it was great to have the place to ourselves. We took our time wandering around the walls, walking up paths surrounded by tall grass and observing how wild flowers and ferns burst through every crack between the bricks.

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I liked the freedom with which the plants were left to grow untamed. Later, we read a sign about how Montreuil-sur-Mer is actively protecting bio-diversity, leaving grasses unmown in places, not using pesticides and planting large beds of wild flowers visited by all sorts of bees from beehives placed around the property.  It makes me hopeful to see nature thrive when humans stop controlling it so much…

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