Hard to believe but the Chateau of Villandry was once up for demolition. Fortunately Joachim Carvallo and his wife Ann Coleman, a Spaniard and an American, bought it in 1906. Pretty remarkable that they took this on but take it on they did. They refurbished the buildings and uncovered and brought back to life the gardens. And what an amazing place it is.
So of course it was a must on our list. It was well worth the trip. They have acres of formal gardens, both vegetable and flowers. I can’t lie, I’m envious of how well their veg patch is doing given theirs seems to be surviving without rabbit damage. Unlike ours!
The formal part of the garden “spells” out tender love, passionate love, fickle love, and tragic love.
I do wonder how the family, who still lives there, find ways to enjoy the gardens. I would find it difficult to have to stay out of sight until the masses have left. But it would be a wonderful place to stroll with a glass of wine. There are lovely spots to find whether it be the stone watchdog or the graceful swan swimming by.
But my favourite spot was the sun garden. I much prefer the gardens that follow the English cottage garden, rather than formal, straight, and narrow gardens. Letting the flowers and plants do what they are meant to do naturally.
One thing I really enjoyed while in France was the wonderful food you can get at the tourist stops. At Villandry they had a restaurant that used the veg from the kitchen gardens. I had a smoked duck fillet salad with roasted pine nuts and a violet vinaigrette for a dressing.
It was delicious. It was such a great day with the kids. We created so many good memories on this trip that will last a lifetime.