Friday, February 09, 2007


Just to the west of Tours, on the left bank of the Cher river just before it joins the Loire, sits the Château de Villandry. Built in 1536 by a member of King François I's court, this renaissance castle is more known for its expansive gardens than for the castle itself.

A portion of the château seen from the kitchen garden parterres.

I visited the castle gardens in summer of 2001, with Ken and our friend Cheryl. The theme of the lower garden terrace (closest to the castle) is le potager, or kitchen garden, and the parterres were filled with all manner of edible plants, vegetables, and herbs.

Lettuces grow inside the box hedges in the kitchen garden. Tall roses give some height to the otherwise low plantings.

There are two other terrace gardens that rise up the slight incline behind the castle, and they include a water garden, a flower garden, sculpted plants, and a labyrinth hedge. My descriptions cannot do justice to them, nor can my pictures, but here they are nonetheless.

Herbs and grasses grow in between the shaped hedges in this section of the garden.

I would love to go back in spring and fall to see how the garden changes with the seasons, not to mention the interior of the castle itself. Maybe that's something to do this year ?

Another view of the château.

1 comment:

  1. Villandry: castle and gardens magnificent. I always wonder: who takes care of all that?


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