...at the château de villandry
Continuing my château theme for the abc-along, I'm glad to have the opportunity to show off some photos of the magnificent gardens at Villandry. Especially so, as I have Versailles for the actual 'V' post! Heh! I just have to remember that when we actually get there...
Here's a wee description, courtesy of that kind Mr Wikipedia again: "The lands where an ancient fortress once stood were known as Colombier until the 17th century. Acquired in the early 16th century by Jean Le Breton, France's Controller-General for War under King Francis I, a new château was constructed around the original 14th-century keep where King Phillip II of France once met Richard I of England to discuss peace.
The château remained in the Le Breton family for more than two centuries until it was acquired by the Marquis de Castellane. During the French Revolution the property was confiscated and in the early 19th century Emperor Napoleon acquired it for his brother Joseph Bonaparte
In 1906, Joachim Carvallo purchased the property and poured an enormous amount of time, money and devotion into repairing it and creating what many consider to be the most beautiful gardens anywhere. Its famous Renaissance gardens include a water garden, ornamental flower gardens, and vegetable gardens. The gardens are laid out in formal patterns created with low box hedges.
Still owned by the Carvallo family, the Château de Villandry is open to the public and is one of the most visited châteaux in France."
impeccably kept hedges
After following the tour through the castle, you are allowed up onto the battlements, the view from which are stupendous and showcase the gardens marvellously. The château interior itself is delightful, and beautifully maintained in a turn-of-the-century (19th / 20th) style, but it is the Renaissance knot gardens that leave the biggest impression, from above...
...and from below. I have to admit that as breathtaking the gardens are from on high, it's not until you are down at ground level that you fully appreciate the scale of the project. The gardens are immense!
view from one of the many waterways
Vineyards, lavender beds, rose arbours, vegetable patches, herb gardens, all beautifully laid-out in geometric patterns. (The vegetable gardens were a surprising but brilliant display of edible loveliness...)