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Château of Valençay: Édouard André, a landscaper and adventurer

Following its restoration last winter, the Print Gallery, with its stunning view over the château gardens, is hosting an exhibition dedicated to Édouard André, one of the greatest French landscapers of all time. The theme was chosen to mirror the cultural season of “Gardens of the Loire Valley”.
 
For the first exhibition in the Print Gallery, the Château de Valençay decided to pay tribute to the worthy subject of Édouard André. Born in Bourges, he wasted little time and by the age of 20 had already earned the title of Paris’ chief gardener. He then began to focus on designing gardens located across various different continents. Landscaper, explorer, botanist, writer, garden theorist and even a professor at the Versailles School of Horticulture, Édouard André was also known for having discovered the plant Anthurium Andreanum, also called a Flamingo Lily. After travelling the world, André returned to Berry to create the formal garden at the Château of Valençay, with the help of his son.
 
The exhibition centres on the creation of this garden and the different thought-processes that led to the final result. It also tackles three of Édouard André’s main focuses: his discoveries in the plant world, his articles and treatises, and his remarkable achievements around the world. Information boards, botanical flowerbeds, garden plans and drawings immerse visitors into the world of the landscaper and adventurer who left his mark on the history of gardens. The overall aim is to communicate the outlook and knowledge of the man who believed that “in order to embrace garden art in all its glory, one has to be a painter, poet, architect, and gardener all at once”.
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