Monday, December 08, 2014

More from the water garden

This is the simplest garden at Villandry, I think. Just grass, paths, and shrubbery planted in pots. Of course, there are slopes and steps and the whole thing is surrounded by rows of tilleuls (linden trees). But compared to the other more elaborate garden spaces all around, this one is serene. The brochure says, "C'est l'endroit idéal pur se reposer et méditer (It's the ideal spot to rest and meditate)."

A very simple, yet elegant, garden. The castle's donjon (keep) is visible just behind.

In many formal French gardens, potted plants, shrubs (like these), and trees are taken indoors for the coldest part of winter. The bigger châteaux (like the Louvre or Versailles) had special buildings for over-wintering citrus trees and other warm-climate plants like palms. The buildings are called orangeries and many are still used to shelter plants during the cold weather. One famous orangerie, in the Tuileries gardens outside the Louvre in Paris, was transformed into an art museum in the early twentieth century. If Villandry has an orangerie, I did not see it.


  1. It has an orangerie. It's on the right of the Garden of Love if you are looking towards the house, under the terrace, with a series of big arched doors. The citrus are in big Versailles planters along that wing of the house and I assume get wheeled in to the orangerie during winter. Otherwise it's used like a garden shed, with the gardeners keeping equipment in there.

  2. Ohhhh, so THAT is the meaning of orangerie! I have always wondered why the museum was called that. Thanks!

  3. Tee 'em up! It really does look peaceful.

  4. susan, ah, well I managed to miss it!

    judy, je t'en prie. :)

    gosia, very tidy.

    stuart, I don't think they'd take too kindly to golfing on the lawn. lol


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