|presentation of the world collection of hydrangeas|
Location : The collection is located in Varengeville-sur-Mer, near Dieppe on the coast of Upper Normandy.
Purpose of the Collection : The purpose of the Collection is research - into the introduction of new varieties, into identification, and into the comparison of plants' growing behaviour - and the dissemination of knowledge on an international level.
Content and organisation of the collection : The Collection, which was given the status of French National Collection by the C.C.V.S.* in 1999, is recognized all over the world. It covers an area of 2 hectares and contains 2000 plants, including 1200 different varieties ( species, sub-species and cultivars ) which have either been collected in the wild or bred by horticulturists since the late nineteenth century. It was begun by Corinne Mallet in 1984. Some of the specimens in the Collection are the only ones known in the West ; in most cases these come from Japan, the cradle of many hydangea species. The Collection is divided into two areas.The first is in the form of a maze, where each bed is dedicated to one plant breeder, arranged by country or region, making it easier for visitors to understand the world of hydrangeas, and making the Shamrock Collection a ' living museum' of the genus. The beds nestle in a bower of paulownias and buddleias, which provide the shade necessary for the majority of these plants. The second area, Dragon Wood, is a natural wood where Asian woodland species are grown.
Visitors are lent a colour guide book at the start of their visit, to direct them in their walk round the collection. At the end of their visit, Corinne Mallet is usually on hand to give explanations and advice. On some days visitors are offered Buddha tea*.
Opening dates and times : The Collection is open to the public every day except Tuesday mornings from 15 June to 15 September from 10 am to midday and from 2.30 to 6 pm. From 16 to 30 September it is open every afternoon except Tuesday. Closed on 30th september.
Entrance charge : 7.00 € ,(except périod 15.07 to 15.08 , 8.00 €)
free for children under 15.
Special family groups rates (5 or more pers.) 6.00 € /pers. (except périod 15.07 to 15.08 , 7.00 € /pers)
Guided groups (from 15 to 150 pers) : 10.00 € /pers.
Unemployed and Disabled : 4.00 €/pers.
Telephone : (33) 02 35 85 14 64
*C.C.V.S.: Conservatoire des Collections Végétales Spécialisées, the French organisation that supervises plant collections; the equivalent of the Britisth NCCPG.
*Buddha tea is an infusion made from the leaves of certain hydrangea.