xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' Karen Wagner garden & design: Chateau de Valmer

Monday, 16 May 2011

Chateau de Valmer

For our last chateau and garden in the Loire, we chose Chateau de Valmer and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Its hidden away in the country side and is a privately owned small estate with a charming petit chateau that is left now after a fire in 1948 of the main chateau.  The gardens have been updated and renovated by the incumbent ‘Madam Chateleine’ keeping the style that was originally set out in the 1500 and 1600’s.  Its set over 8 terraces in a distinct Italian style and is rather charming.  First impressions might have been that it was a bit austere and but the estate has been carefully and charmingly thought about and renovated as such.
The gardens are managed and maintained by just one gardener and an apprentice so are a testimony to dedication and possibly lots of hard work.
 They have a realistic, genuine feel rather than overdone and staged and it feels like it is loved and looked after by people who are real gardeners and who love gardening and botany.
One of the highlights is the potager.... a really large vegetable and flower garden set out beautifully and a real working garden.  Madam is a landscape designer and botanist and has established a working garden that also is a place for preservations of vegetable and flower varieties and collections.
A lovely touch is the gourd walkway,  located in the old orchard, which in the late summer and autumn must be something fabulous to see with ripening gourds hanging above you head under lush green foliage. 
We also really liked the new luxurious chicken houses and runs.
The original terraces are lovely and are large and amazing considering they were built originally in the 17th century.  With symmetry, Italian minimalism, stone stairs and urns as features and ornate balustrades, the architecture of the garden is just as important as the gardens themselves.
It was an unimposing, charming  garden and chateau that was a lovely finish to the gardens in the Loire.
We also had a lovely tasting of the wines of the estate which has a working vineyard and bought a bottle of lovely sparkling of the Vouvray appellation, which is different from Australian sparkling but really lovely light fresh and floral.  Delicious!

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