The carefully manicured gardens of Versailles –
Flickr user Kimberly Vardeman
is famous for having its own unique style of garden, jardin à la française,
which translates to “garden in the French manner”. In a place which takes so
much care of its outdoor spaces, you won’t struggle to find a picturesque spot
to enjoy this summer. I personally love exploring this side of French culture,
as French gardens have long inspired artists and visionaries, with Monet’s
Giverny gardens being some of the most famous. So, if you’re ready to feel
inspired, check out my list of some of the best gardens in France.
Gardens of Versailles
at the Palace of Versailles
in north-central France, the royal château’s park and gardens have been a
UNESCO World Heritage Site 1979. I love visiting these gardens as they’re a
great example of the classic French garden, where order rules over nature in
the form of symmetry and careful planning.
around 800 hectares, the gardens of Versailles boast an orangery, colourful
flowerbeds, fountains and even a canal. Many changes have been made to the
gardens since they were first created around 1683, but in recent decades they
have been restored to their original layout. For spectacular views, visit the château’s
“hall of mirrors” which overlooks the gardens. Discover the many fountains at Versailles.
© Flickr user David Blaikie
Jardin d'Atmosphere du
contrast to the manicured gardens of Versailles, the Jardin d'Atmosphere du Petit
Bordeaux appears much more rugged and wild to the untrained eye. Just outside
of Le Mans, this non-uniform garden boasts colourful flowers, shrubs and trees,
which collectively span about 1.5 hectares.
gardens are densely populated and you’ll find pretty hydrangeas sitting
alongside stunning daylilies. You can even find more foreign plants such as the
Kousa dogwood, which is native to parts of East Asia. Summer is a great time to
visit this garden, but I love going throughout the year to see the seasons
Jardin de Saint Adrien
the south of France, the Jardin
de Saint Adrien is an award-winning landscaped garden. Once a basalt
quarry, the garden covers four hectares and makes the most of the Mediterranean
weather with colourful and exotic plants. Volcanic rocks, which were once part
of the medieval quarry, line the garden’s large ponds and lake, the latter
boasting rockslides and an impressive collection of agave plants.
you visit this garden around sunset or in the evening, the owner has been known
to give personal tours, explaining the flora of the garden with enthusiastic
detail. The warm climate has made this garden unique, so it’s definitely worth
a visit if you’re in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
final garden on my list is in the heart of the valley of the Dordogne and it stands
out for its incredible collection of green plants, specifically topiaries. The
topiaries at Eyrignac are expertly
clipped and trimmed to a range of sizes and shapes. Surrounding the garden
you’ll find 200 hectares of wild landscape, which provides a beautiful contrast
and can be explored on foot. The gardens at Eyrignac surround scenic manor buildings.
© Flickr user @Iain G
the green topiaries, other gardens include the White Garden, which introduces white-coloured
flowers to the green hedges, as well as a Chinese pagoda which is a nod to the
trading between France, India and China during the 18th century.
With seven gardens in total, Eyrignac makes for a delightful day visit and I
thoroughly recommend taking a guided tour to learn all about the garden’s
history.The topiaries at Eyrignac.
© Flickr user Esther Westerveld