The most beautiful gardens in France

  • Exceptional gardens enjoying an excellent reputation, which are open to a wide public

  • Recommended by all the major guides

  • Maintained to perfection by professional gardeners

  • Open every day from Easter until All Saints' Day

  • Offering a quality welcome guaranteed by private management.

Welcome to the website of the most beautiful gardens in France.

For an updated activity listing please consult the calendar of events.

    Press Relations


    Capucine Sermadiras (de Fouquières)
    11 rue Arsène Houssaye
    75008 PARIS France
     
    Tel : +33.6.09.46.77.33
    Mail : capucinesermadiras@eyrignac.com


 

    Press Photos


    You can download a zip file containing a photo of each of the gardens by clicking here
 
 
  • Press Releases 2009


    Versailles joined in 2009 the website francemostbeautifulgarden.com which counts henceforth the nine Most Beautiful Gardens of France.

    In 2009, Versailles Palace and its gardens have joined the owners and managers of Chenonceau gardens, Champ de Bataille, The Bambousseraie, Breteuil and the gardens of the Eyrignac Manor, Vaux le Vicomte, Villandry as well as those of the Ephrussi de Rothschild Villa in the select club of the website of “the Most Beautiful Gardens of France”. The aim is to recognise the fame of these exceptional sites now rallied under the committee of “the Most Beautiful Gardens of France”.

    The website francemostbeautifulgarden.com has become a reference in the French art of gardens and now boasts the nine most beautiful gardens: The different players have joined forces to emphasize the magnificence of these gardens:

    • The Bambouseraie,
    • Champ de Bataille Castle
    • Breteuil Castle
    • Chenonceau
    • The Gardens of the Eyrignac Manor
    • Villandry,
    • Ephrussi de Rothschild villa
    • Vaux le Vicomte Castle and henceforth Versailles

    The website offers virtual tours of the different gardens, and announces the different activities organised. There are also links to the range of services on offer that are displayed by pictograms.

    The Most Beautiful Gardens of France are keen to welcome all private gardens that meet their strict specifications. People who are passionate about gardens are invited to join the association of The Most Beautiful Gardens of France by submitting their applications to the founding members of the committee:

    François Henri de Breteuil (Breteuil Castle) Henri Carvallo (Villandry) Muriel Nègre (The Bambouseraie), Bruno Monnier Culturespaces : Villa Ephrussi de Rotschild ; Mr. And Mrs Jean Louis Menier (Chenonceau) ; Patrick Sermadiras de Pouzols de Lile ( The gardens of the Eyrignac Manor).

    These nine marvels of France delineate gardens:

    • of exceptional beauty and fame which are accessible to a large public
    • A determining factor in the offer made to visitors
    • recommended by all the famous guides
    • perfectly manicured by gardening specialists
    • Open seven days a week, at least from Easter to All Saints’ Day
    • Offering a professional welcome guaranteed by a private management;

    The Management remains a key consideration. All these gardens are actually either maintained by their owners or by professionals trained in tourism hospitality.

    The website francemostbeautifulgarden.com intends to:

    • offer the jewels of the garden heritage to passionate individuals
    • depict the art of gardens under a modern light
    • exchange experiences to continue improvement on the welcome given to the public
    • Educate the public, particularly to arouse the interest of youngsters
    • Make the gardens bloom all year round through the organisation of various events

    In Spring 2009

    THE BAMBOUSERAIE OF PRAFRANCE, IN GARD
    Listed as a « historical monument » and a « remarkable garden»

    This botanical garden exotic in Europe – with exceptional landscapes such as the lavish bamboo plantation, the plant labyrinth, the aquatic garden, the Laotian village, and magnificent Victorian-style greenhouses – has become a cultural venue, propitious for exchanges.

    Muriel Nègre invites artists every year.

    From the 25th of April to the 30th of October, The Bambouseraie welcomes the art of Paca Sanchez and Bernadette Chêne, as well as an exhibition of aromatic plants.

    Paca Sanchez will glean the seeds of dandelions which will flourish in the small greenhouse, a cube of vineshoots will occupy The Bambouseraie, and a bunch of bulrushes and other rushes will adorn the pond. The accomplishment of Bernadette Chêne is the story of an awe-inspiring landscape: no need to unravel its appeal in this abode rich in pebbles, trees, fields and paths….


    GARDENS AND PARK OF BRETEUIL IN THE VALLEY OF CHEVREUSE
    Listed as a « historical monument » and a « remarkable garden»

    The French-style garden of Achille Duchêne, is characterised by its parterres of box trees, trimmed hornbeams, water mirror, a “garden of princes” embalmed with fragrances and colours, a maze of thousands of box trees created in 2000, an English-style park containing trees dating from three centuries, and romantic ponds. These all contribute to Breteuil’s fame as one of the most beautiful sites of France.

    In 2009, Breteuil retains its enchanting appeal

    Historical characters specially created for the Grévin museum reside in the Castle amongst works of art and paintings. The heroes and heroines of the fairy tales of Perrault are omnipresent: Cinderella and the young prince dancing in the lodge of the maze, Hop o' My Thumb hiding in the fruit store-room of the Ogre and Puss in Boots wandering in the stable…

    From the 11th of April to the 15th of November: there will be a three-dimensional reconstruction of the best performances in a painting created by Brigitte Duboc. On the 5th of April 2009: Enjoy an orchestra of traditional French music under the supervision of Jean Marc Harari = Music of Beethoven and Schubert.


    CHAMP DE BATAILLE CASTLE

    Jean de La Varende once wrote about Champ de Bataille « This is the realm of opulence. The decor is secondary to the declaration of power ». It is this grandeur which convinced Jacques Garcia to again purchase this property in 1992.

    Elaborated by an eminent landscape gardener – possibly by Le Nôtre himself – these gardens of the Baroque style which had once evidently been sumptuous, were completely lost over time, even down to the last traces. The last traces have been revived by Jacques Garcia’s inspiration and the close participation of Patrick Poitier who has, with this inspiration, rediscovered the antique source to recreate the new gardens.

    In 2009, on the 19th and 20th of June, there will be the Opera with Rigoletto de Giuseppe Verdi in a realisation by Francis Perrin.


    CHENONCEAU CASTLE, IN VAL DE LOIRE

    Built on a riverbed, the cradle of the French renaissance, the Chenonceau Castle – the "Chateau des Dames" – is one of the most appreciated, famous, and visited monuments.

    Its French-style gardens – symbols of romance – are brilliant expressions of the taste and refinement of the instigators: Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis.

    The gardens of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis are adorned with a myriad of rare species, and hundreds of climbing and stemmed rose bushes. The vegetable garden and the 16th century farm are also well-known.

    Finally, living osiers embellish a green space in the centre of a maze planted with 2000 yews, elaborated from an Italian design dating back from 1720.

    On the weekend of the 1st of Mai 2009: Come and enjoy Lily of the Valley and the magnificent floral art of Chenonceau.

    On Mother’s Day, the wax museum – “the Galerie des Dames of Chenonceau” – is opened free of charge for all mothers who shall be presented with flowers.


    GARDENS OF THE EYRIGNAC MANOR, SITUATED IN THE BLACK PERIGORD BOASTS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL REPRESENTATIONS OF TOPIARY ART
    Listed as a « historical monument » and a « remarkable garden»

    Situated close to Sarlat, the Eyrignac Manor and Gardens represent historical masterpieces belonging to the family of Patrick Sermandiras de Pouzols de Lile for over 500 years.

    This French-style garden lying in the midst of a 200 hectare property, asserts itself in the monochrome blends of the greens of yews, boxwoods, hornbeams and cypress.

    It is the sheer concentration of topiaries that make the brilliance of Eyrignac: plant sculptures, green spaces, arabesques of boxwoods, and French-style flower beds…The diversity of shapes seem limitless whilst matching harmoniously the architectural lay-out of the Manor and the naturally-preserved property of 200 hectares which surrounds this receptacle.

    This dream-like garden seems woven with a tapestry of boxwoods, yews and ivies which emerge on the borders. Spiralling buttresses also adorn the Avenue of hornbeams.

    In 2009: A tree nursery was created as well as botanic paths with accompanying explanations along the two roads of 4 km and 2km respectively.

    The Easter weekend: Sunday 12th and Monday 13th of April 2009.

    The bells of Easter will ring at Eyrignac for both children and parents.

    New in 2009: The help of parents shall also be requested: The enigma will be subtle and will require creative ability… The gold coin to be found will not be in chocolate. The Gardens of the Eyrignac Manor will offer to parents the medal of the coin of Paris.

    5th edition of Orchids’ Day and that of other rare plants with an exhibition of carnivorous plants on Friday 1st, Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd of May 2009.

    Do not miss the continuous exhibition “passionately Eyrignac” in the gardens on Friday 5th, Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th of May from 9.30 a.m to 19.30 p.m.

    Technical courses will be held on art of pruning topiaries with manual shears and the maintenance of lawns. Other key events: The first major pruning of the main path and that of the most spectacular one – the Avenue of hornbeams – running over 100 metres long.



    VAUX LE VICOMTE, IN ILE DE FRANCE

    Listed as a « historical monument » and a « remarkable garden»

    Of all gardens designed by Andre le Notre, it is in that of Vaux-le-Vicomte that we discover most clearly the hallmarks of the classical garden. It is from this work that he developed everywhere else the works and variations.

    The terraces which surround the castle are adorned with flowers and arabesques of boxwoods and the others are beautified by lawns. This outstanding plant system is embellished with a remarkable use of the laws of perspective and optical illusions to give the observer the pleasant sensation of being able to 'embrace' the gardens at a glance. And everywhere, water flows in abundance – either still or gushing out – totalling today nine hectares spread over 24 ponds (against 40 in 1661).

    In the grottos of the castle, an exhibition dedicated to the works of art of Le Nôtre revives the atmosphere of French-style gardens. Visitors can at the same time discover the principle masterpieces of the landscape gardener which enhance the neighbourhoods of Paris.

    Finally, the exhibition ends with an impressive interactive model which relates the thoughtful creation of the Gardens of Le Vaux and highlights the principles which have underpinned the masterpieces of Le Nôtre.

    At Spring time 2009: for Easter, a big egg hunt will be organised.

    Then, from May, there will be candlelit evenings every Saturday nights.

    On Sunday 21st of June 2009, a fancy-dress lunch will be organised to celebrate the day of the Great Era.

    And this year, a new exhibition has been added to the list: Discover the splendour and misfortune of Nicolas Fouquet daily from the 14th of March to the 8th of November.


    VILLANDRY IN VAL DE LOIRE
    Listed as a « historical monument » and a « remarkable garden»

    Villandry, the last of the great Renaissance castles, was built on the banks of river Loire, and is particularly renowned for its gardens, spread out over three levels where aesthetics, diversity and harmony prevail. The decorative vegetable garden mix vegetables and flowers, in the symmetry of its checkerboard lay-out and its abundance of plants. In the course of seasons, the cultivations follow one another to offer a constantly renewing three-dimensional plant scene. In the ornamental garden, the boxwoods depict musical symbols and, also and above all, the hearts, the wreaths, the butterflies, the fans…allegories of tender love, passionate love, fickle love and tragic love respectively. The water garden is more soothing: the pond has a dominant role; the sound of fountains and the wide stretch of lawns bring calmness and tranquillity to the visitor. It is a most peaceful garden, perfect to recharge one’s batteries or….to indulge in dreams! The whole site is complemented by a garden of medicinal plants which comprises medicinal and culinary plants as well as a maze of dwarf hornbeams where children and adults love to lose their ways.

    The 2009 festivities begin with an exhibition running from mid-march to mid June: Gérard Fally, a painter gardener at Villandry will present his “Silent lives”.

    The 6th and 7th of June : “Rendez-vous in the Gardens” on the theme "Land, terrain, territories…"

    The 13th and 14th of June: “Rendez-vous aux Troglos” for an exceptional visit of the underground passages.


    VILLA EPHRUSSI ROTHSCHILD AT SAINT-JEAN-CAP-FERRAT

    This real Palace, overlooking a peninsula, is one of the most beautiful historical monuments on the Côte-d’Azur. A holiday destination for the most elegant and wealthy European and North American visitors, Cap Ferrat was chosen in 1905 by Baroness Ephrussi de Rothschild to realise one of her “extravagant desires”, inspired by the imposing Renaissance residences of Venise and Florence. The villa is surrounded by nine awesome theme gardens where the visitor can discover at random during his stroll, the symmetrical lay-out of French-style gardens, the luxuriant vegetation of Spanish and Florentine gardens, the abundance of the rose garden, rare essences of the exotic garden or the archaeological vestiges of the lapidary garden. Today, this villa represents the only historical site on the Cote-d’Azur which is accessible to the public. It is a testimony of these residences created by the super-rich who “created” the French Riviera in the Edwardian Era.

    For 2009: The play of musical waters will run from May to September.

    An enchanting aquatic and musical show animates the French-style garden every 20 minutes;

    The 17th of May 2009: Festival for children

    The 14th of June 2009: Day dedicated to painters

    For a day, the Villa opens its doors to painters, amateurs or professionals who wish to practise their arts in a surrounding of exceptional beauty.


    AND VERSAILLES

    A collosal site was started in 1661. Louis XIV granted to André Le Nôtre the planning of the gardens of Versailles. The works which were undertaken at the same time as those of the palace lasted some forty years. Jean-Baptisite Colbert managed the site and Charles Le Brun undertook the designs of a large number of statues and fountains. At a later stage, Jules Hardouin-Mansart ordered ornaments of increasingly tone-down styles to enlarge the “Orangerie” of Louis le Vau. Thousands of men participated in this immense project. Sublimed by numerous representations of the Greek-Roman mythology, by the enchantment of 50 fountains and 620 water jets, the revival of the Great Perspective, the reconstitutions of the flower beds of the “Orangerie” and the reconstruction of the groves of “L’Encelade”, “Le Dauphin”, “La Girandole” and “Arc de Triomphe” reflect the spectacular achievement of works initiated almost 10 years ago. These laborious works have restored the gardens to its original state of splendour at the end of the reign of the Sun King.

    Concerned towards the end of his life to depict the best ways to show the grounds to visitors, Louis XIV wrote himself a guide which can still be followed by visitors. These gardens constitute today the biggest open-air museum in the world with over 400 sculptures, pots and statues, designed by the most famous names of the time.

    In 2009, the " Grandes Eaux Musicales " – the Musical waters spectacles during which the fountains in the gardens are in full play – will run from April to September on Saturdays, Sundays, and Public Holidays, and the "Grandes Eaux Nocturnes" water shows will run every Saturday evening over summer.

    As Louis XIV hoped, the show of the Musical waters offers visitors an unmatchable stroll in Gardens of the Palace where fountains and water jets compete with each other for their beauty, allure, and expression of innovation. Despite the ravages of time, the water jets remain as compelling and charming when accompanied by the rhythm of the music of great classical and baroque composers.

    In a half-lit summer evening, a stroll in the exceptionally lit gardens introduces you to fountains and statues, all on the enchanting musical notes composed for a King. Beautifully punctuate the end of your garden tour with fireworks fired close to the Apollo fountain.

    The Most Beautiful Gardens of France are gardens of exceptional beauty and fame which are accessible to a large public;


    These gardens are recommended by all the famous guides,
    They are perfectly manicured by gardening specialists,
    They remain open seven days a week, at least from Easter to All Saints’ Day,
    And finally, they offer a welcome of high professional standard and cater for all the services required by the public

    Monthly membership fee: after admission granted by all the founding members: 1 500 €
    Yearly membership fee: 300 €

    Pictures can be downloaded from the website.
    www.francemostbeautifulgardens.com

    Press Contact :
    Capucine de Fouquières
    06 09 46 77 33
    capucine@capetcime.fr

    Press Releases 2007


  • Monday 12th February 2007 :: The most beautiful gardens in France, a completely new website
     

    The owners and managers of the gardens of Chenonceau, la Bambouseraie, Breteuil, the Manoir d'Eyrignac, Vaux le Vicomte, Villandry and those of the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild have created the website of the Most Beautiful Gardens in France to spread the reputation of these exceptional sites within an association called “The most beautiful gardens in France”.
     

    From now on the Internet site The Most Beautiful Gardens in France has become the reference site for the art of the garden in France. It offers virtual visits to these different gardens, outlines all the activities they organize and provides links to all their services illustrated by pictograms.
     

    The Most Beautiful Gardens in France are just at the beginning of their adventure, as they are set to welcome all the privately managed gardens which meet their very strict specifications. Enthusiasts about the gardens are invited to join the Association The Most Beautiful Gardens in France (currently undergoing formation) by putting forward their application to the founding members: François Henri de Breteuil (Château de Breteuil); Henri Carvallo (Villandry); Muriel Nègre (la Bambouseraie); Bruno Monnier Culturespaces; Villa Ephrussi de Rotschild; Michael Petijean (Chenonceau); Patrick Sermadiras de Pouzols de Lile (Les jardins du Manoir d'Eyrignac)
     

    This site will bring together the elite of gardens... which represent excellence in the art of the garden in France, and welcome more than 3 million visitors every year.
    Joining fee: after unanimous acceptance by the founder members: 1,500 Euros
    Annual subscription: 500 Euros

     

    You can download the full press in french release by clicking here