I haven’t featured any of my French girlfriends for a long while, so for those readers who never saw the original series here is the principal explained …..
I am blessed to know some wonderful women here in France, and I love to share them with you and to give you an insight into real people’s lives here. A behind-the-scenes view; stuff that visitors never normally get to discover.
My criteria for choosing the friends are simple – they must be interesting, creative, fun, and have something wonderful to share with us. Of course this is a blog, so it helps if they are extremely attractive and live in houses that are quintessentially French and elegant, but it is amazing just how many French women tick all the boxes.
Today I am introducing you to Danièle. She spent her life teaching, and there are many youngsters in Normandy with happy memories of her history and English lessons. Today, retired, she and her husband are passionate about gardens and living a full and rich life.
They are fully involved in local cultural and charity events. They tend their garden and are vigilant about the quality of the food they eat. Danièle’s husband, also called Daniel, maintains a fantastic potager where, alongside the tomatoes, beans and salads, he cultivates a collection of rare varieties of potatoes.
When I stopped by to take pictures, early one morning, I was welcomed to their elegant home with croissant and coffee.
The garden is full of roses, many of them climbing their way through old apple and cherry trees. Their perfume fills the air, and their gentle colours are restful to the eye.
Inside the house Danièle is a collector … a woman after my own heart ….
Many of their pieces have come from her family, but she also loves to find pieces and bring them to add to the tableau.
Many of her finds are functional, but she also loves to curate small vignettes, particularly on botanical themes.
Besides maintaining her garden, Danièle is also a volunteer guide for the nearby medieval abbey at St Georges de Boscherville. She welcomes guests and gives them a wonderful, and if needs be bilingual, tour of the abbey and gardens. I speak for this first-hand, as she recently led a visit for my brocante tour guests.
If you are close to Rouen on the last weekend of June, and you would like to visit Danièle’s gardens, she is opening them exceptionally to the public, in aid of a charity that helps those suffering from Alzheimers. Just drop me a line I’ll be happy to give you the details.