Visit Chateau du Lude
The Chateau du Lude is in the Sarthe department in the Pays-de-la-Loire region of NW France.
This lovely chateau, the Chateau du Lude, which is on a more human scale than some of those in the Loire valley has a lovely garden and grounds attached to it. The garden is labelled as a "Remarkable garden" of France.
Explore the Chateau du Lude gardens
Built on the banks of the River Loir the river adds an extra dimension to the garden. The river runs alongside a long formal, landscaped park. In the distance is a chinese pavillion and the Jardin de la Source.
But for me the best bit is the top terrace. Surrounded by a stone balustrade and with the view of the park and river below there is a lovely 'parterre style' garden. I am not usually a big fan of these formal parterre garden but this one is a little different.
Whilst the box hedging is all very traditional the shapes are filled in with a much more exuberent planting than normal giving it a much more informal air.
Near the castle the parterres are filled with plants with colours mostly of white and yellow. Golden oregano is used to good effect here as ground cover. Further away lots of pinks and purples including an enormous number of alliums, one of my personal favourites.
There was also a lovely purple rose 'Rhapsody in blue'. This rose won the 'rose of the year competition' in 2003 and I can see why. Other plants include nepeta, lavender and geraniums. There is a miniature maize beyond this garden.
For those of you who like vegetable garden there is also a large and very impressive kitchen garden.
Chateau du Lude garden guide:
The Chateau du Lude can be found south of Le Mans.
The chateau is open from the 1st April to 30 September except Wednesdays in April, May, September and the first half of June. 10h to 12h and 14h to 18h.
Address: Chateau du Lude, 72800 Le Lude
Gardens to visit nearby
To the north of here is the lovely Jardin d'Atmosphere du Petit Bordeaux, a charming country garden. Whilst to the south east are the magnificent ornamental vegetable gardens of the Chateau de Villandry.
On a visit to the castles of the Loire Valley the Chateau d'Amboise and its gardens was one of our favourites. Like the Chateau du Lude it is not the biggest and most imposing but it is very charming as are its gardens and it offers some lovely views over the town.
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.