Summer is just around the corner and it is beginning to be born in the minds of nature lovers. In anticipation of the beautiful season to come, this top 10 is dedicated to the gardens that you absolutely must visit this summer in France, whether they are French or Italian style, under glass or in the park of a castle. Being as close as possible to the trees, plants and flowers is a special moment that helps you forget the grey winter sky and put some balm in your heart. And with a bit of luck, it will force the sun to come out of its hiding place and sublimate these little corners of paradise.
The impressionist gardens of the château d'Auvers
The inhabitants of Paris who wish a nice moment of communion with a beautiful green space can find the gardens of the Château d'Auvers barely an hour from the capital. In this impressionist universe, you can stroll and enjoy the softness of the place to take a break for an afternoon. These gardens, of French, Italian Renaissance and English inspiration, are dedicated to flowers: 4 of them have been named there. Workshops are offered, painting and floral compositions are on the program. A stroll which is completed very well with the visit of the superb castle which dominates the valley of the Oise
The gardens of the manor of Eyrignac
Direction the Dordogne this time, near Sarlat, for a stopover in the superb manor house of Erygnac. Nearly 10 hectares dedicated to flora, and 7 gardens to suit all tastes: French, Chinese... as well as 300 impressive plant sculptures that have been hand-cut by talented gardeners. Pruning courses are also offered for those who are keen on gardening. You should also take the time to contemplate the harmonious lawn carpets, fountains and the white rose garden. So as not to get lost, you can be accompanied by a guide who will reveal all the nuances of the flowers.
The garden of the Rodin Museum
A more unusual garden in number 3: the garden of the Rodin Museum, an integral part of the exhibition, in which a number of works are arranged. The garden will allow you to rediscover the artist's masterpieces through two thematic paths: the "Garden of Sources" and the "Garden of Orpheus". Each itinerary aims to showcase the master's sculptures. What better way to present the works of a great artist than to integrate them into harmonious plant compositions, where flowers give way here and there to water features. The Rodin Museum has done this in the heart of Paris.
The gardens of the Château de Courances
In the sumptuous setting of the Château de Courances, you can discover the many gardens that brighten up the park. A magnificent Japanese garden in all its sobriety and nuances will fill you with wonder, as will a visit to the undergrowth laid out by the landscape gardener Astrid Verspieren. The visit also allows you to stop at 14 springs and 17 water features, some of which date back to the 16th century. Ponds in which no chemicals are used and where the carp take care of the cleaning. If you really liked this enchanting setting, you can even stay overnight in the hamlet of the castle!
The Abbey of Saint-André
Listed since 1947, the gardens of the abbey of Saint-André are a real masterpiece: on nearly 2 ha, they are decorated with statues, ponds, pergolas and other stone columns. A fascinating history, and owners who have left their mark on the place: artists collectors, curator of the Louvre, they have all left their mark on the gardens and the organisation of the abbey. The gardens take place between 6th century tombs and the ruins of Romanesque churches. Ponds and vases complete this ensemble, which promises a delightful journey out of time.
Large greenhouses of the Jardins des plantes
A walled garden for this number 6! The Garden of Plants is made up of 4 greenhouses whose microclimate and vegetation are unique: tropical forests in an Art Deco atmosphere, desert and arid environments in the long adjoining gallery, then New Caledonia to see species that exist nowhere else, and finally the history of plants and their evolution through time. Garden greenhouses, with a history dating back nearly 400 years, to stroll around while learning about the flora of the 4 corners of the world.
The gardens of La Chatonnière
And now for some air, let's go to La Chatonnière and its 400 years of history. It is in the 1980s, after several generations of owners, that Béatrice de Andia was entrusted with the building. The gardens which today make all the charm of the place are born. First created by Ahmed Azeroul, they form a green setting around the Renaissance-style castle. Today there are 13 of them in total and as many floral walks! Flowers that vary according to the seasons. In summer, roses, poppies, dahlias, blueberries and medicinal plants reveal their most beautiful colours.
The gardens of Claude Monet in Giverny
For budding painters, the garden of Giverny awaits you. Claude Monet lived there for 43 years, and above all he was inspired by it to paint one of his most famous paintings: the Water Lilies. Maybe you don't know it but Monet was a great gardening enthusiast. The master's gardens are enlivened by a thousand and one flowers, whose compositions and colours will remind you without any doubt of his most beautiful paintings. Not to be missed during the visit, the water garden, where a pretty Japanese bridge takes place and where the sky and the greenery are reflected in a charming pond. To conclude your visit, you can go and discover the painter's house!
The gardens of the castle of Villandry
A few kilometres from Tours stands proudly the castle of Villandry. It was built during the Renaissance, as were its uncluttered gardens, which quickly became famous even then. Although they are certainly more pleasant in spring and summer, they are open all year round! The estate also has an organic vegetable garden built in the purest Renaissance style. Water garden, sun garden, maze, orangery and clementine trees, there is a multitude of atmospheres to be discovered at the Château de Villandry and in some places you can see the village buildings, between 15th century houses and the Romanesque church.
International Garden Festival of Chaumont-sur-Loire
The International Garden Festival is an appointment not to be missed under any circumstances in the Loire Valley. The flagship event of the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, it delights every year garden lovers in all their diversity. An event dedicated to creation, poetry and nature, landscape designers and designers from all over the world come here every year to express their art. It is a true laboratory of contemporary creation in the field of gardens and this year, from 23 April to 1 November 2020, the theme will be "Gardens of the Earth, return to Mother Earth"