Visit Gardens of the Chateau de Villandry
The Chateau de Villandry is situated in the town of Villandry not far from Tours in the Indre-et-Loire department.
Visit the gardens of the Chateau de Villandry
The Loire Valley is known as the garden of France and the Chateau de Villandry is the most amazing of all the Loire Valley Gardens.
The gardens at the Chateau are a perfect example of formal gardening in France. Consisting of a large number of knot gardens, square gardens bordered by box hedging, and these are filled in with different plants or vegetables to create beautiful, very symetrical gardens.
The Chateau de Villandry was built in the early 1500s. It was one of the last of the Loire chateaux of the Renaissance period. In 1906 the gardens which had been destroyed in the 19th century were recreated in keeping with the style of the chateau.
The gardens cover 9 hectares and include six distinct gardens: a water garden, with ponds and fountains; an ornamental garden with intricate patterns of clipped box filled with different flowers according to the seasons; and an enormous vegetable garden. Amazingly the vegetable garden is one of the most beautiful parts of the garden and will have you desperate to overhaul your vegetable plot when you get home.
This large ornamental vegetable garden is the most famous garden of Villandry and as well as admiring the garden you can see the plans showing which vegetables have been planted for each colour block. Duing our visit one section had 'yellow' planted with yellow peppers, 'red' with beetroot, 'white' with white aubergine and 'grey-green' with cabbage and 'green' with golden celery. The edges were a mix of blue sage, yellow coreopsis and yellow rudbeckia.
The gardens are laid out on four terrasses. The upper terrace is the 'Jardin du Soleil' (sun garden) which was created in 2008. Next is the 'Jardin d'Eau' or water garden. Then the 'Jardin d'Ornament' with lots of topiaries filled in with flowers and on the lower level the fabulous 'potager decoratif' the decorative vegetable garden.
The sun garden is laid out around a star shaped pond and the parterres are filled with a more informal style of planting than the main formal gardens. Yellow is the predominant colour as it is the sun garden.
Step on to the belvedere that surrounds a lot of the formal gardens for the best views. You can really appreciate the amazing design of these gardens from here.
There is also a children's play area, greengouses and woods to discover during your visit.
These gardens won 2nd prize in 2005 and 3rd prize in 2003 of the coveted "Top des Parcs" , Best Park, competion in France.
The chateau is open too and well worth a visit.
The gardens of the Chateau de Villandry garden guide
The gardens of the Chateau de Villandry are open nearly all year round, every day from 9.00am to 5.00pm and longer in high season. Closed 13 November to 22 December.
The Chateau de Villandry is about 20km from Tours in the Centre region of France.
Address: Chateau de Villandry, 37510 Villandry, France
Visits cost 10,50 euros (castle and gardens) or 6.50 euros for the gardens only - adults. Under 8s are free and for 8-18 year olds the price is 7 euros for castle and gardens or 5 euros for garden only visits. Prices are reduced in the winter.
There is a restaurant and a snack bar at the castle and so you can really enjoy an extended visit here. There is also a little shop where you can buy local products.
Gardens to visit nearby
You can see another amazing formal vegetable garden at the Parc Maupassant de bois Savary to the west of Tours and another chateau garden at the Chateau de Chenonceau to the east of the Chateau de Villandry.
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.