The resident aristocratic owner and her Head Gardener have created a series of remarkable gardens surrounding the Renaissance castle, attracting the attention and plaudits of enthusiasts throughout the gardening world. There is a clear Italian influence in the design, while much of the planting is inspired by modern English landscaping and the whole effect is soft, rounded and very feminine.
Started in the late 1980's, the gardens have since escaped the confinement of the chateau walls and now twelve named parts create a constantly changing scene. Evocative names provide a hint and the splendours to be found there: The Garden of Abundance, a vegetable garden created in the year 2000; Intelligence from 1998 is geometrical in design and surrounded by pergolas of roses and Clematis; Botanic Sciences (2003) , is surrounded by willow fences, is a sweet-smelling chessboard made of 80 squares, half of which are medicinal herbs.
The Garden of Romance from the year 2002 is again fenced in with willow, creating 30 small "rooms" and an inner lawn with a labyrinth of Viking design. The Garden of Luxuriance features 400 David Austin roses planted in 2008, adding to the collections of roses displayed in other areas. The Garden of France (2001) is an eighteen acre ocean of Poppies and Cornflowers surrounding the property while the Crescent of Fragrances features a flame shaped bed of Californian Poppies and one thousand rose bushes backed by a rose pergola extending to 300 metres.
The Garden of Silence created in 1997 offers a contemplative space in the inner courtyard of the chateau - a formal lawn divided by trimmed Box hedges; the Garden of Delights is similarly calming despite its name. The Vale of Elegance from 1996 is a large space in the French Renaissance style becoming the Gardens of Dance in May when 40,000 daffodils burst into flower. The Garden of the Senses is a large formal space planted in an exuberant English style, offering stimulation for heart and the head in an annual eruption of scent, sound and colour.
In a region of important gardens, this is a "must see"!
Les Jardins du Château de la Chatonnière,
Route de Langeais,
+33 247 45 40 29
Fax: +33 247 45 91 40
Prices for garden visits: 6,50 € - 8,00 € per adult, 3,00 € - 4,000 € per child.
* Gardens are open every day from 1st March to 15th November, from 10 am to 8:00 pm, including bank holidays. Last access : 7 pm.
This garden can be visited as part of a specially tailored Loire Valley Garden tour, lead by our expert Colin Elliott of the Garden Design Academy