Jardin Le Vasterival

346 Allée Albert Roussel Route du Phare d'Ailly 76119 SAINTE-MARGUERITE-SUR-MER / Côte d'Albâtre

A few kilometres away from Dieppe, in Sainte-Marguerite-sur-Mer on the Alabaster Coast, Vasterival garden is a botanical setting of 30 acres whose reputation extends beyond our borders. Designed and laid out by Princess Greta Sturdza, the key word of this garden is transparency. Some 10,000 species of plants flourish in the heart of this place, displaying their beauty throughout the four seasons.

As soon as I passed through the entrance gate, the greenery is already all around me. I could hear the sound of the gravel under the tyres of my car and I looked up to observe the surroundings. I was surrounded by trees, or rather a corridor of trees that seemed to show me the way. Leaving this small undergrowth, I arrived at the entrance of the site. I parked by a beautiful house that I took time to admire. I got out of my car and was immediately under the spell of the place. I had the pleasant and inexplicable impression of being cut off from the outside world. In front of me, a perfectly manicured stretch grass and several paths to choose from. This garden looked mysterious and I was eager to explore it. The visit is with a guide, and thankfully because I was sure I could get lost! Today the tour of the Vasterival Garden is guided by Aurélie. She enthusiastically told us about the history of the site, created by Princess Greta Sturdza who maintained it for more than 50 years. This great self-taught woman had developed techniques that are still used by the staff to keep this heritage alive. I was moved by the unusual story of this garden, and I was already looking forward to my visit with undisguised curiosity and enthusiasm.

We started the tour with the oldest part of the garden, an undergrowth. Entering this undergrowth feels like leaving the real world. I had the feeling of being in a magical forest! I was speechless and I listened to the guide with great interest. The light filtered through the leaves of the trees and delicately shone on the elements of the forest just like spotlights. I walked with light steps. Under my feet, downy moss covered the ground. I could hear birds that seemed close. I could smell fragrances that brought to mind holidays and the sun, it was the smell of pine trees! Aurélie told us all about the secrets of the garden, fascinating. It was as if she was whispering in Vasterival's ear.

We continued the visit with the most recent part of the garden which is very different from the first part as it set in a dry-hanging valley. Before my eyes, a wonderful sight, an indescribable explosion of colours. Everywhere, colourful flower beds that looked like a mess. These beds are dominated by trees. Aurélie explained the main principle of this garden: transparency. Developed by Princess Sturdza, this tree pruning technique allows to enhance the flowerbeds as well as the tree trunks by cutting the lower branches. I quickly understood that nothing was left to chance here, even if it didn't look like it. Between the flower beds and borders, grass paths invited me to wander around. The smell of freshly cut grass is very pleasant and once again I let myself be carried away by the moment and by Aurélie's anecdotes and explanations. The garden is simply stunning, enchanting. The smells, the sounds and the textures appealed to all my senses. Here, grace and fineness combine to create harmony in a way I had rarely seen before.

At the end of the visit, I felt lucky to have been able to admire such a garden guided by Aurélie. I completed this experience with a stop at the shop where I bought a plant for my garden. Who knows, maybe one day I will also be able to create such a display?

Arboretum, Conservatory, Gardener's creation, Botanical garden, Pleasure garden, Water garden, Plant collection


All year
Horaire NC

Services : Shop

Private visits

The visit lasts approximately : 90 min

Languages spoken  : English
Tours available in : English

Accès à la fin des visites.


Base rate - full rate adult to 15.00€
Child rate to 8.00€
Base rate - full rate adult to 20.00€

Methods of payment : Carte bleue, Cash, Money transfer

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