Posted by: kathandroger | April 16, 2011


Yesterday was a lovely day – blue skies and sunshine again – and the spring flowers and trees are looking fabulous. So a trip out was in order and where better than beautiful Villandry. The château is impressive, but as we are in the Loire Valley we are a bit spoilt in that department. The gardens, however, are without equal…in my humble opinion!

Completed around 1536, Villandry was actually the last of the great Chateaux built on the banks of the Loire in the Renaissance period, resplendent with traditional Renaissance-style gardens. In the 19th century the gardens were destroyed to create an English style park, but in 1906 the château was bought by Joachim Carvallo, a Spaniard who gave up a brilliant scientific career to devote himself entirely to Villandry – and he began by restoring the Renaissance gardens.

I love the vegetable garden. Planted in 9 squares of equal size, with different geometric patterns in each. There are 2 plantings a year with vegetables of alternating colours…the blue of leeks, the red of cabbages and beetroot, the green of carrot tops etc etc.

The ornamental garden was stunning yesterday. The detail and colours are amazing. Here are a few piccies to give a little flavour…

We think we have a bit of weeding and pruning to do here, but this a whole different scale! The 1200 lime trees need a 3-monthly prune. The box hedges, if planted end to end, would measure 52 km and must be pruned between April and October every year. 250,000 individual flowers and vegetables  are planted each year, 50 % of which are prepared in the glasshouses at the château. A lot of work, but the result is well worth the effort – an absolute must for a visit on a lovely spring day!


  1. Villandry is one of our favourite gardens… but we’ve NO intention of trying to immitate them!!

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