Visit Le Bouquet garden
Explore the Le Bouquet garden
The Le Bouquet garden is in the grounds of the Chateau du Bouquet which dates back to 1830. The entrance to the gardens is in one of the buildings in the chateau grounds. In the past the chateau has been a wine chateau and a cereal farm but its land has now been given over to this innovative garden.
The garden is a modern version of the knot gardens that were such a major part of French formal gardens in the past and which continue to be common in France to this day. Especially in the gardens of chateaus in France.
At the le Bouquet garden over 50 designs have been drawn up and created on the ground using clipped hedges to form the shapes. These are mostly box including variegated box to create colour differences and occasionally different hedge varieties add different textures and colours. Clipped trees are also used in some of the designs where some height is needed and various perennial plants add shape or movement to the designs.
The walk through the garden past all the motifs is 2 kilometers long and there are lots of benches all along the way so that you can sit and admire a particular view. The walk starts in the wood and parterres have been created in small clearings where they harmonise with their surroundings.
Out of the woodland area there is a large open park and the path winds around this opening up different vistas and revealing lots of different motifs. Each one has a sign next to it with the pattern drawn out and labelled to tell you which particular plants have been used in that design. Three varieties of box; Sempervirens, Suffruticosa and variegated Elegantissima are the most common plants.
One of our favourites uses the blue spires of Perovskia (Russian Sage) to provide a contrasting colour in the design and vertical trees to provide height and drama. One of the largest of the designs is the 'rosace de Saint Front' pictured at the top of the page.
As a contrast to these essentially green motifs there is a design made of flowering perennials called the 'mer de fleurs' or 'sea of flowers' which is composed of 1700 plants of 19 distinct species. Sadly when we visited at the end of a particularly hot and dry summer this one was suffering rather but I would like to see it in spring and early summer.
There is a rose garden of 1280 roses which undoubtebly would be at its best early in the season.
Le Bouquet garden guide
The Le Bouquet garden is open from the 1st May until the 31st October from 09.30 to 12.30 and 14.30 to 18.30. Prices are 7 euros for adults and 3 euros for over 10s.
Address: Les jardins du Bouquet, RN21 Sortie Nord de Sorges, 24420 Sorges.
Which gardens to visit nearby?
The Jardins Tranquille at Brantome offer a contrasting style as this riverside garden has a profusion of shrubs and flowers in wide borders.
For a more traditional style of formal garden visit the stunning Chateau de Hautefort and its gardens.
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.