The Vaéré garden is located between the sea and the road leading from Plougonvelin to La Pointe St-Mathieu. After leaving Plougonvelin, take the 5th road on the left towards Kerouman, Le Vaëré, and when the road forks continue right. The garden is on the left side of the road. Park on the right as indicated.
If you leave from the Pointe St-Mathieu, go past the Mémoires 39-45 museum and take the second small road on the right. At the fork, turn left.
It can also be accessed from the coastal path. A sign located a hundred metres from a white landmark indicates its presence to hikers.
This is a small private garden created by just one man ! Gaby Quellec, a retired farmer who has toiled endlessly over the last 15 years to turn a small valley covered in brambles with a small stream flowing through it, into a magic garden. He generously wishes to share this bit of paradise with one and all.
It all started back in the 1970s, the time the hedges and ditches were being flattened to make way for vast fields more suitable for agricultural machines and intensive farming. In this small often flooded valley, the former lavoir of Vaéré lay buried under a mountain of soil and plant debris from the surrounding hedges.
Gaby Quellec, who had seen his family use this lavoir in the old days, could not just sit back and see the countryside of his youth change beyond recognition. With his shovel and wheelbarrow, he got down to work and unearthed the lavoir and restored its surroundings to its former glory.
But he was not just satisfied with this feat. Inspired by the sheltered location of this wet valley, he imagined clearing it from the undergrowth to make it what it is today, a real little paradise of plants and flowers, entirely for the pleasure of its visitors. A gigantic task, which gave his life a purpose and a constant occupation in his retirement.
As soon as spring returns Gaby Quellec's plantations explode into a cascade of colours. He has carpeted the slopes with flowers, built flower beds, and even small islands around the stream.
The trick was to control and direct the flow of water. Water is life, and you can really see how Gaby has turned this often-flooded valley into a maze of controlled streams supplying water where needed.
Among the flower beds and shrubs, the visitor can discover some exquisitely made miniature buildings : a scaled-down lighthouse, an old bistro and even a small mansion. The master of ceremony managed to turn his hand to stone-masonry and model making showing a touch of human presence in the garden of Eden.
In this unique floral space, we go from discovery to discovery. Gaby Quellec has set up picnic areas in the sun as well as in the shade of the Gunneras. The gigantic leaves of this Brazilian native plant are often admired by visitors.
He also wanted to understand more about the rich heritage of plants and herbs : So he has added a particular space reserved exclusively for aromatic plants and another for medicinal plants, each of which is clearly identified.
Everywhere, the creator of this garden feels a desire to communicate not only his knowledge to the public, but also his love of nature and his desire to preserve the natural and cultural environment.
Vaéré garden : the insect refuge.
The Vaéré garden is not only the result of a personal passion for nature. It also reflects a spirit, a rare and communicative altruism that commands respect and perhaps makes us reflect more on the meaning each of us can give to our own lives. This visit is a must !
May 14, 2021: A windmill is coming to the garden !
In an effort to continually improve the attractiveness of his garden, Gaby has just made room for this recreation of a windmill from the past. Although it is a scale model, it is not a miniature. And its wings, blocked for safety, could turn! One more reason to come and see, or see again, the beautiful garden of Vaéré.
Thanks to Glyn Orpwood who provided the most beautiful pictures on this page.
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