Tuesday, 7 April 2009

G is for...


...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."

incredible designs

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...

view of the vegetable gardens from the ramparts

...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...)

underneath the vines
aromatic delights
the vegetable gardens - lettuce, onions, basil, radish...

I'm hoping to return again this year, this time with sister mine - the gardens filled me with awe and delight and I know DS will love them, too...


saradippity Wednesday, 8 April 2009 at 03:14:00 BST  

Wait, you mean that's real? Like, not some kind of cgi magnificence? Not some architectural program's rendition of utopia? Pardon me, I feel dizzy....

Can you imagine raking the leaves in the fall?

Anonymous Wednesday, 8 April 2009 at 13:58:00 BST  

G is also for gorgeous! Thank you for sharing! I just sent Mike a link so he can add it to our "place to vacation someday" list!

Susan Wednesday, 8 April 2009 at 20:19:00 BST  

Oh I do love your castles! I've always been fond of the parterre gardens but I'm not disciplined enough to keep one, mine always end up like cottage gardens.

p2sso Friday, 10 April 2009 at 15:37:00 BST  

Those gardens are lovely and a perfect "G" post for this time of year.

Mair Bloag Weejits

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