A unique place in Nanchèvres (Saint-Père) to have fun in nature and with the family

It is an ideal place for families and children. The opportunity to look at nature with a different eye and discover some of its facets, with a breathtaking view of the Eternal Hill. About two weeks ago, Valérie Tardy opened Les Jardins de Valou, the culmination of years of reflection and months of work. There, rue des Près at the exit from Fontette, on a plot of one hectare, the Parisian woman who came to settle in Avallonnais about eight years ago offers an educational garden around the vegetable patch and permaculture.

“This is a 4-hectare piece of land that my family and I had had for several years. I worked for twenty years in a garden center, and I had long dreamed of creating a “forest garden”. Personally, in my garden, I have cultivated permaculture for a long time. I am passionate about plants and fruit trees,” she explains.

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“A year ago here was the jungle”

On the ground, a small wooden cabin can welcome the audience and refresh themselves. Obligatory passage point before entering Valérie Tardy’s little world. A small terrace in the shade of parasols and wooden games occupies part of the square. Further on, a small corner that appears to be fallow allows him to explain what permaculture is, another allows you to discover other pollinators. In addition, bees will come to populate the installed beehives.

So many small natural islets accompanied by easy-to-understand educational panels for the little ones. You have to imagine that a year ago, here it was the jungle. We did a lot of cleaning work. We have also made a small pond on the site. A week later, a seed had already settled there, smiles the one who created his association Les Jardins de Valou in 2020 to carry out this unique project in Avallonnais.

Create a fruit forest and educate the youngest

On site, a “forest garden” also pays tribute to many species and varieties, in addition to the 350 varieties of tomatoes that grow here!

My idea is to create a fruit forest. We have more than a hundred fruit trees, apple trees, walnut trees… We will already do with what is already there, but I will continue to plant

More than an oasis of peace for biodiversity, Jardins de Valou also wants to be a place of meeting, openness and environmental education. Valérie thus addresses itself especially to families and their children. So to make learning more fun, Valérie has imagined several activities especially for children. On the program, treasure hunts and puzzle games with questions about nature and beautiful educational panels created by Amandine Balacé, an artist from the Avallon region known as “Wild Expression”.

“It also gives the opportunity to explain to children that every gesture can have an impact. I would like to work with, for example, schools or holiday homes, and why not create a small catering area. Today it is possible to picnic on site. This is only the beginning…”

Go. Jardins de Valou is located on rue des Près in Nanchèvres (Saint-Père), on the corner of rue des Près and route de Fontette. Contact: The place is open from April to September and during the school holidays. More information on the Facebook page @Lesjardinsdevalou

Maelle Hamma

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