Thursday, 7 August 2014

Chaumont show gardens part I

Last Monday we took our friend Jane, who is staying with us for the week, to visit Chateau de Chaumont-sur-Loire. We went to have a look at the show gardens and the chateau. Every year Chaumont hosts an international festival where garden designers from all over the world are invited to create a show garden based on a theme.


This year's theme is 'Jardins des Péchés Capitaux' [the deadly sins]. It was a glorious day, with the sun blazing down, so the garden attendants were hard at work keeping all the displays watered. We had a lovely time wandering around before heading towards the chateau proper.
Vallée de la brume
The little valley of the mist which led on from the decent into hell garden was beautifully cool and 'tropical'.
Narcissus
Many of the gardens featured hot colors to express anger and lust, but there were also gardens in which you could explore with interactive elements. In one, see-saw balance beams were used as a metaphor for life/trust/relationships, which kids loved playing on. Other gardens played on the pun in French between peaches and sins [peches/péchés] and featured little peach trees. The narcissus garden held a giant gold mirror which reflected the chateau's roof line.

Bloom [teacups are us]
One garden, called Bloom 'Le purgatoire des tentations': we're not sure where the link with sins/temptation came in; featured some giant teacups. We really loved the palette of colors that had been used, all blues, purples and mauves.

Our friend Jane in a teacup!
In fact, it matched the palette of colors used all round the Domaine in this year's floral displays and beds.

More on the gardens to follow...

12 comments:

the fly in the web said...

Friends who normally visit did not do so this year thanks to ill health so it was a treat to see your photographs...with more to come!

I wonder what a theme of peches mignons would inspire...

GaynorB said...

We've never been but it might be just the place to take our friends. Thanks for the reminder.

ladybird said...

Love the garden Festival of Chaumont. Have been there twice, the last time in 2012 with Mats and Vera. They really enjoyed it! Btw, nice to read that you are 'mobile' again.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@fly - lord knows!!

Once our friend gets her photos to us there will be more of the show gardens :-)
Loved the color palette they had this year round the park & chateau in general.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor - it really is worth it. We spent 4 hrs wandering around and only 'did' the show gardens and the chateau. There was plenty more to see.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Martine - Very much enjoyed the interpretations on this year's theme. And yes,getting more mobile by the day.

Had niet gedacht dat ik 4 uur rond zou kunnen lopen nog geen 5 weken na de operatie; met hulp van de strategisch geplaatste bankjes natuurlijk --- héérlijk :-)

Aussie in France said...

I love those mauve colours. I don't know if they used them last year, but they did when we visited in 2012. Such a lovely garden.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Aussie - I think that Chaumont alternates its palette for the borders. Blues/whites/mauves one year and another colorway the other.
So if you visited in 2012 it would have been the same palette as we saw this year.

Pollygarter said...

Hey! How did the hip take to it? I wonder if they hire out golf buggies. It's a great place as long as you keep away from the plant sales areas. I hope you found their best kept secret - the south car park.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@ Pollygarter - Hip took to it fine :-) Thre were plenty of strategically placed benches so, whenever I wanted I could have a sit down. Mind you the muscles were tired after our 4hr visit. The south car park is indeed so much better.

Saw golfbuggies but not sure if they were only for staff to zoom around. They do have new, lightweight wheelchairs for use of public. An attendant tried her best to convince me to use one :-). I explained that I was post-op and walking was 'good'. Not sure she was convinced!

Perpetua said...

Very glad to hear the new hip was up to a 4 hour garden wander. The gardens look fascinating and I really love the castle - totally fairytale with all those towers and turrets. :)

JEH2011 said...

Hello folks - the woman from the teacup here!! Loved your blog post, the pics of the Chateau and most of all my stay with you both in The Loire. It was all fabulous! My pics are presently uploading and will be on their way to you both soon... apologies for delay!