A walk in the gardens of Villandry 

With the arrival of summer, join us for a walk in the gardens of Villandry. You really are in for a treat!  

The four seasons in the gardens of Villandry  

The gardens of Villandry are always stunning whatever the season. From spring to autumn, summer to winter, the flowerbeds, vegetable gardens, perennials, boxwoods, shrubs and trees all make for a verdant, picturesque landscape that is constantly changing. The Kitchen Garden, Water Garden and Ornamental Garden with its two chambers of greenery are accurate reconstitutions of Renaissance and French formal gardens. Conversely, the Sun Garden, Simples Garden and the hedge maze are freer adaptations of gardens from the past. The annual succession of colours and scents is a delight for all!  

Spotlight on the kitchen garden at Villandry  

It is uncontestably the star of the Villandry gardens. The kitchen garden with its nine identically-sized squares is home to a thriving collection of no less than 40 varieties of vegetables throughout the year. To achieve this impressive feat, the gardeners sow and plant twice a year. Beetroot, cabbages, carrots, tomatoes, courgettes, lettuce... the successive patchworks of colours stretching out like a vast, multicoloured checkerboard are a feast for the eyes.  

The Kitchen Garden Days, held every year in September (25th and 26th in 2021), are an opportunity to meet the estate's gardeners who will share their know-how and tips with you!  

The Château of Villandry and its gardens: a tale of passion  

In the early 20th century, the Villandry estate was bought by Dr Joachim Carvallo and his wife Ann Coleman, the heiress to a major American steelmaking family. It was true passion that led Joachim Carvallo to leave the laboratories of the faculty of medicine in Paris and dedicate himself to restoring Villandry. Thanks to the work of a hundred or so masons, the Renaissance facades were soon restored to their former elegance and splendour. Joachim Carvallo's greatest achievement, however, lies in the stunning gardens which he accurately restored with the meticulousness of the scientist that he was. Today, Henri Carvallo, the great-grandson of Ann and Joachim Carvallo, maintains and looks after the Château of Villandry and its gardens with the same passion. 

The Villandry gardens: organic gardening   

The Villandry gardens have been cultivated 100% organically for many years now. Laurent, Head Gardener at Villandry, and his team tend the plants without using any chemical products. This organic approach has allowed many insects to return to the garden and they are the ones who now control the aphids and cabbage flies! In terms of equipment, the Villandry gardeners use tools that do not disturb the soil such as the broadfork, a sort of spade with fork-like prongs. Bees gather nectar in the garden before returning to one of the four hives installed on the terraces. The first château to join the LPO (League for the Protection of Birds) network, Villandry is also home to a multitude of birds whose chirps and songs fill the gardens.  

“Nuit des Mille Feux” in the gardens  

 To discover the gardens of Villandry from a different angle, don’t miss the “Nuits des Mille Feux” events. On two magical evenings (6 and 7 August 2021), the glow of 2,000 candles illuminates the balustrades, fountains, stairways and gardens. The event is imbued with an enchanting and poetic atmosphere and culminates in a firework display that lights up the surface of the lake with sparkling reflections.  

The elegance of a château surrounded by Renaissance gardens  

The history of the Château of Villandry goes back to the 16th century when Jean Le Breton, Minister for Finance of King Francis I, bought Villandry and demolished the former fortress, leaving only the old keep. Having previously directed work at the Château of Chambord, his experience in architecture inspired him to build a château that was unembellished yet strikingly elegant with slate roofs, dormer windows, mullioned windows, galleries with arcades and an honour courtyard. As you visit the château, you will appreciate the ambiance and decoration of a comfortable residence: kitchen, dining room, salon and study, bedrooms opening onto the gardens, library... The Oriental Room is decorated with a stunning Hispano-Moorish ceiling from Toledo. 

Find out more and see all the practical information for you visit to the Villandry gardens.