The poster is a tempting. Until Sunday night, 3 000 parks and gardens open their doors to the public in France and, for the second year in a row, in 19 European countries, including Monaco and Andorra. The theme of this 17th edition, “animals in the garden”, sounds like a call to better understand and preserve the biodiversity on which some representatives (birds, insects) make it of immense service to the gardeners. Guided tours, educational workshops, demonstrations of savoir-faire, art exhibition, conferences: the owners and managers of these public and private spaces were put in four to share their passion for botany, the nature cultivated and the landscape created by man. Le Figaro presents you with a selection of these exceptional places, including a few of the 17 gardens newly labelled “remarkable Gardens” by the ministry of Culture.
Gardens of the abbey of Fontfroide, Narbonne (Aude) The rose garden in Fontfroide Yann Monel
Labeled Grand Site of Occitania in 2018, this cistercian abbey is a jewel of our national heritage, with its splendid Italian gardens, and enclosed terraces, restored since 2007. Two courses are offered at the tour: the first traces the history of gardens since the Middle Ages, while the second, “the walk of the grove”, invites you to discover the plant species of the mediterranean, while offering an overview of the site and the massif that surrounds it.
Don’t miss the rose garden, outstanding, with its 2,500 varieties, both ancient and recent, including the pink “Abbaye de Fontfroide”, created in 2013 by the breeder French Guillot. Falconry shows, animation, “the old trades of yesteryear”, the discovery of the hotels in insects and beehives, exhibition of sculptures of animals are all part of the animations in the program of the weekend.
• Opening the 8 and 9 June from 10 h to 18 h. Price: 7,50 €, free for children under 3 years of age. Tel.: 04 68 45 11 08,
Garden of the Yews, Gerberoy (Oise), The amazing “if igloo” of Gerberoy. Yann Monel
Located in the”one of the most beautiful villages of France”, the garden of the Ifs is the only example preserved in France of topiary art in a monumental Seventeenth-century. This splendid French garden, with a rose garden and a vegetable garden led by permaculture, surprised by its forms, its perfect symmetry and its impressive proportions due to the presence of giant yew pluricentenaires cut it into a hat. The central subject, an “igloo” in which ten people can hold, has been awarded the Tree remarkable of France in 2016 before being elected to the Tree of the year, two years later. Finally, the provision in the terraces of this charming place, recently classified remarkable Garden, offers to the visitor an exceptional view on the nearby fields. For the Appointment to the gardens, a costume party is organized on the theme of La Fontaine’s Fables. The children (and adults) are invited to dress up in the animal of their choice.
• Friday to Saturday from 15 h to 18 h. Price: a paid ticket (4 €) for one free, and free for children. www.lejardindesifs.com
vegetable Garden of the château Colbert Maulévrier (Maine-et-Loire) The garden Colbert has been fully renovated Garden Colbert
Long neglected, the garden history of 8 000 m2 has been masterfully renovated by Gwenael Tanguy, a DPLG architect and a landscape architect, on the basis of the original plans of the Seventeenth century. A stone staircase, double body, re-discovered during the work, today marks the input places, the paths have been traced, while an irrigation canal in slate collects spring water and rain necessary for watering. Organized into 14 squares, plantations, vegetable, themselves surrounded by 20,000 feet of boxwood, the garden Colbert has received the label “remarkable Garden”. Under the leadership of Michael Vincent, the former gardener of the King’s kitchen garden at Versailles, its production entirely organic now feeding the table of the restaurant of the castle held for a little over a year ago by the chef Jean-Yves Massonnet. Not to be missed, a stone’s throw, the visit of the oriental park of Maulevrier, who belonged, originally, to the field founded by the brother of Colbert at the end of the Seventeenth century.
• guided Tour and painting workshop from 7 to 9 June. Price: 5 €. Tel.: 06 63 34 43 83. www.potagercolbert.com
Chateau and gardens of Bournazel (Aveyron) with a View on the gardens and castle of Bournazel. Maurice SUBERVIE
the Fruits of scholarly research to be geometric, the gardens of the château of Bournazel were created in the Renaissance, between 1542 and 1561 by Charlotte Mancip and her husband John Bush. They consist of two distinct spaces designated for the orchard, and the “walled garden”. Surrounded by a large stone wall, the second contains nine beds, richly decorated with flowers, a maze, fountains, a large pond and a “garden of rooms”, typical of the Italian Renaissance. Destroyed during the wars of Religion, and then abandoned over the centuries, the gardens of Bournazel have been recently recreated from a campaign of archaeological excavations and meticulous research in archives. They were received last January, the label “remarkable Garden”.
lectures on the Italian gardens of the Renaissance and the origins of the French garden will be given Saturday and Sunday afternoon at 15: 30, Thierry Verdier, architect and professor of art history at the university of Montpellier.
• Saturday and Sunday from 14 h to 19 h. Prices: 3 €, free for children under 6 years of age. Tel.: 05 65 80 81 99. www.chateau-bournazel.fr
Harmas Jean-Henri Fabre, Sérignan-du-Comtat (Vaucluse) the garden of The Harmas. MNHN-AGNES IATZOURA
“wasteland” in provençal, and the harmas Jean-Henri Fabre (1823-1915) is an invitation to discover the life and the immense work of this clever jack-of-all who devoted a great part of his life to the study of insects in their natural environment, in particular its species fetishes like the cicada, the praying mantis or beetle. The guided tour of this harmas, classified a historical monument since 1998, includes a part of the home of the naturalist and of the garden which served as a laboratory open to the sky. Labelled a “remarkable Garden” in 2018, this haven of greenery, with a surface area of approximately 9 000 m2, is home to hundreds of plant species remarkable with large trees, planted to some by Fabre himself, as well as a vegetable garden and a pond with two fountains that is home to aquatic fauna diversified.
• mandatory Registration with the visit of a duration of 2 hours. Rates: 7 €, reduced 5 €. Tel.: 04 90 30 57 62. www.harmasjeanhenrifabre.fr
Find all the sites already visited by the Figaro
• Château de la Ballue(Ille-et-Vilaine): the surprises of an amazing gardenn
• The course and beauty of the gardens of Sothys (Corrèze)
• The gorgeous renaissance château of Ancy-le-Franc (Côte-d’or)
• At the foot of the Cevennes, the jardin des Oules (Gard)
• In the gardens of Eyrignac, the lush green of the Périgord (Dordogne)
• keep Ball, manor Nuyet, castles of Villaines and Sanded-on-the-Loire, gardens of the Mirail: ride enchanted in five gardens in the Sarthe
• Between sky and sea, the incredible garden Russian Étretat (Seine-Maritime)
• The fabulous renaissance of the domaine de Trévarez (Brittany)
• The magic green of the boxwood of Marqueyssac (Dordogne)
• And much, much more…
“rendezvous to the gardens” and how to use
The schedules, fares and the animations proposed in the 3 000 gardens participating in the event are available, country-by-country and region-by-region, by clicking here.
in addition, for the first time this year, owners of gardens located in a nearby area are associated to form a circuit of discoveries. The Pass, which can be downloaded on the Internet site, offer discounts tariff of the order of 30 % for the first visit and 50% for the following