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A hike + a museum + a garden!

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Monday, September 25, 2017

What do you do when you are hesitating between going on a hike, visiting a museum, and touring a garden? You don’t choose, you do all 3 of course! ;)

The Vexin area I often mention in my blogs (a National Park North-West of Paris) has so much to offer... Countless castles and lovely villages, several interesting museums, lovely paths through the fields and woods... I love it all!

Yesterday, I started in Guiry-en-Vexin, a hike I had done several years ago, but this time I had a different aim as I wanted to visit a museum and a garden during my hike! So I had packed a sandwich and was looking forward to new adventures!

I parked near the 17th century castle (it was built on the ruins of a former castle... the domain has been in the same family since the 11th century!). More information here: www.chateau-guiry-en-vex

And just 5 minutes later, having walked up the main street, I was in the countryside, on a little road where I hardly saw a couple of cars (thankfully!). Between trees, this was the view on the left of the road...

Isn’t it just idyllic? I hadn’t been feeling well at all lately (suffering from severe anemia due to a lack of vitamin B12)... and suddenly looking at this view, even though I had been a bit shaky at first, I really felt energised!

The little road took me to nearby Gadancourt, where I first saw the castle’s chapel in the distance (I know, yet another castle... it isn’t rare to have at least one castle per village! in my village there are at least 3 I know of today!).

Gadancourt’s castle (built in 1747) was half hidden behind trees but still looked quite amazing I thought! Again, more information here:

I also loved the village’s church (12th-15th century)...

And this house opposite the church simply stole my heart!!!

It really is the typical house of the Vexin area, with its beautiful golden stones... Oh I loved it. Well, imagine, I fell in love with it and its shutters and doors weren’t even blue! ;) Even the wall around the house is perfect!

But I couldn’t stay in Gadancourt for too long, I was so looking forward to the next village, its museum and its garden... So, good bye for now Gadancourt!

(one last view of Gadancourt, with 3 hikers I met as I was leaving the village)

Wy-dit-Joli-Village was the name of the next village (‘Wy-called-Pretty-Village’), and it was indeed a very pretty village. This house...

... used to be the priest’s house a long time ago. It was just opposite the Tool Museum. I have known for a long time that the Tool Museum was there but, to be honest, it didn’t really appeal to me. Well, it was very interesting! And beautifully presented! It didn’t just show the tools, it showed what they were used to do (keys, baskets, all kinds of things...).

The widow of the man who created the museum still lives in the house nearby... (I think if my heart hadn’t already been stolen by the house in Gadancourt, this one would have stolen it! Isn’t it just charming?)

So that house, the house of the museum and the house that used to be the priest’s are like a group of 3 houses which leads to the garden I came to visit...

Don’t expect anything amazing. It isn’t what I was after! I wanted ideas for my own garden, and the garden that was created in Wy-dit-Joli-Village is what we call a priest’s garden here (Jardin de curé), ‘curé’ being the French word for a local priest. These gardens used to be everywhere in France, where priests grew their own vegetables and flowers for the church – sadly there are only very few left. They were a mixture of all kinds of flowers and vegetables, often grown together... the opposite of the classical French gardens as seen in castles!

The lady at the entrance of the museum (which is free by the way) was so sorry I came specifically to visit the garden as, she said, it is so much nicer in June because of all the roses! I can imagine, but still, I loved it. It was a bit chaotic and very romantic and full of ideas for my garden-to-be.

(Yes, the berries are edible! They are a kind of raspberry.)

It even had rose hips (and thanks to you I now know how these are called in English, thank you!)...

Visiting this lovely garden really convinced me this is the type of simple village garden I want for my own garden... one day!!! It is a French version of the beautiful English cottage garden, but still quite different as many of the plants and the way they are put together are very different.

They had put a couple of tables on the big patio-balcony overlooking the garden and the nearby houses, so I ate my sandwich there, right opposite the former priest’s house...

If I turned my head just slightly, I could see the other house...

I just wanted to stay there looking at these beautiful houses and the pretty garden, listening to the birds sing! But the path and Morval’s woods was waiting for me... :)

And when I finally reached Guiry-en-Vexin again...

I had a very special treat in a little outdoor café... tea with a waffle topped with whipped cream (what we call Chantilly cream in French as it is said it was invented in Chantilly)...

Ahhhhh bliss...

Thank you so much for reading this lllllong blog (sorry I really had to share all the pictures from the garden!)! I am so grateful you stopped by! Keep sparking. :)

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