Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cheverny : Le Parc

Once outside the château, our tour became much less structured. We roamed around the vast grounds of the park. The style of the park is English. Great lawns, sweeping curves, big trees, all planted to evoke a natural look - although it's anything but natural. It takes a lot of maintenance to keep it up.

The Apprentice Garden and its iron canopy.

The newest addition to Cheverny is the Apprentice Garden between the château and the orangerie. This garden was built within the last five years by gardening students. It's a modern take on a more formal French garden, with a central allée, a fountain, and geometric parterres. There was a television program about the creation and construction of this garden in the past year that we watched, so it was cool to see it in person.

A field of daffodils in one the parterres.

We wandered around on the manicured paths down to the water course and pond, then made our way back to the front of the château. The front yard, as it were, is a series of huge empty spaces. Some are covered in gravel, others in great swaths of closely cropped lawn. Every so often we'd see a sign reminding us to keep off the grass.

Keep Off The Grass. Or a helicopter might land on you.
Apparently the rules don't apply to everyone...

Like most gardens this old, there are many huge trees including linden, sequoia, and cedars of many varieties. There are even cedars like the one we have in our own, more modest, yard.

Big old trees adorn the park.
The sign says to please keep off the branches.

Here and there were patches of flowers under the trees. We saw a large patch of deep blue muscari, or grape hyacinth. Daffodils abounded. And the beautiful sky and perfect weather made our stroll that much more enjoyable.

A pond was created along the water course and dotted with lily pads.

We made our way toward the dog kennels (chenils) where the feeding of the hounds was to take place at five o'clock. There was already a small crowd gathered around the fences as we approached. We had to jostle for a good viewing spot in the twenty minutes or so that remained before the dogs were fed.


  1. Very interesting series about Château de Cheverny and the grounds. Almost as good as the real thing. Did you eat at Les Trois Marchands this time?

  2. Thank you. It was wonderful to see the Château, in and out, and to read your commentaries.

  3. i love the french chateaus. definitely an old world charm in a modern country.


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