Located slightly outside of Menton city center, the garden “Serre de la Madone” is hidden in the Valley.
This dreamy garden, still very unknown, is a must-see garden on the French Riviera!
Menton, the city of citrus
Menton marks the end of the French Riviera, as the town shares its borders with Italy.
The town is also well known for the Lemon Festival which takes place each year in February. Huge creations made with citrus fruits are available to visit.
It is also a summer place to chill by the shaded, lovely old town. I would suggest you walk to the top to admire the view of the typical and colorful facades with laundry hanging by the window.
Beach lovers are also at their rendezvous as Menton is extended along the Mediterranean Sea. I have no restaurants to recommend this time, as I was always disappointed by the food and only found touristic restaurants… But I won’t give up. One day, I will be pleasantly surprised by a local restaurant… It will probably be Mauro Colagreco’s “Mirazur”. A three Michelin-starred restaurant which was ranked best restaurant in the World 2019, and many more awards such as “Sustainable Gastronomy”… In 2017, I was supposed to do a food tasting for my wedding… But finally, we decided to organize the dinner in Antibes.
Jardin Serre de la Madone
The easiest way to get there is by car. once parked, you will notice a small and lovely house – it is a small boutique, full of local goodies. It is also where you buy your entrance ticket (about €8 per adult and €4 for children). From here, you will start your adventure in this sloped garden. There are about 6 hectares of trees, flowers, ponds, and greenhouses that you can discover by getting lost. At each step, you will find hidden gems!
I love to know the stories of places I go, because it brings more feeling and romance, and makes it more real and special… I also love to imagine the people and reasons of why the place is here today… And then compare it to reality… I have a lot of creativity!
In my mind: A woman who loves plants collected flowers from all over the world and planted them in her garden. Then one day, the woman died. Her husband, in memory of his lost wife and out of love, continues to collect and care for the plants and he opened the garden to others… (I know I am weird!)
Reality:Major Lawrence Johnston was born in 1871 in Paris to American parents. He later had been enrolled to the British navy and gets wounded in the second world war. He went back to his first passion of plants, and so travelled the world and brought back a lot of species.
My favorite time to visit would be Spring, as all the flowers are blooming at this time – it is magic! With the appearance of a wild garden, this is probably one of the most idyllic strolls on the French Riviera. I have already been there twice, and I would love to go back there with my hat, a great book and chill.
Serre de la Madone
Address: 74 Route du Val de Gorbio, 06500 Menton
Closed in November and December and on Mondays.