Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


Archive for October, 2023

The Chateau Villandry Gardens

Villandry is the one. After 4 trips and about 10,000 kilometers of cycling in Europe, if I were asked to recommend a single European garden, to choose one garden for the most representative old-world garden experience, I’d choose Chateau Villandry in the Loire Valley. It has everything you want: elaborate formal gardens, a smaller ‘English’ garden, a silly lawn garden, ponds, fountains, allees, parterres, and a pleasant woodland area to give you a break from all the hedgy-ness. It’s great. I have a slight caveat that Quinta de Regaleira in Portugal is more fun and quirky, and the other French garden I love — Vaux les Vicomte — has a more dramatic formal garden with some unique design trickery and is ultimately more historically significant, so I’d recommend that everyone go see those gardens too (I’ll make a post for Vaux les Vicomte at some point), but for a single garden visit with everything you want from an old world garden, I would pick Villandry.

These two photos basically capture why I find it such a good representation of old world gardening. The two plantings are both excessive and contrived, and moving between them makes the experience of each one more dramatic and enjoyable.

As befits my choice as the representative garden of France or Europe, a slew of photos are below. Cheers. (more…)

You are currently browsing the DryStoneGarden blog archives for October, 2023.