The Loire Valley has long been well-known for its famous
grand chateaux, though one chateau stands out, hosting an annual event with a
difference. Now in its 25th year, the International Garden Festival
is taking place over the summer at Chateau de Chaumont, near our Loire villas, which
has hosted the event ever since its inception, and will be held there until
Known in French as the Festival des Jardins, the festival
showcases around thirty gardens every year by hand-picked designers and landscape
artists from all over the world. What is interesting about each installation is
that they evolve with the seasons during the six months they are on display, with
the flowers being at their most abundant before the summer really settles in.
Each of the contemporary gardens must follow a set theme, with this years
theme being Gardens of the Coming Century.
The festival is immensely popular and attracts visitors from
all over the world, as well as proposals from over 300 artists, whittled down
to just 30. The gardens submitted come from all over the world, with countries
including Italy, Japan, the UK and Germany. During the festival, visitors are
free to wander along the paths of the park amongst the several gardens, as well
as the other sculptures and installations scattered throughout. The seasonal
Arts and Nature Centre also welcomes artists to contribute to visual and
photographic exhibitions, located throughout both the chateau and the gardens. Included
in the ticket is access to the chateau itself as well as the adjoining stables,
meaning you can explore the grandeur of the chateau both inside and out.
The Festival is the perfect outdoor treat for all the
family, as even kids will love exploring some of the permanent features such as
the Valley of the Mists as well as the Wild Iron Pathway. Theyll also love
simply wandering along the paths and seeing the new and vibrant displays of
plants around every corner.
By night during the summer high season, visitors can also
come back to see the gardens illuminated at the Jardins de Lumière event,
running from July 1 to August 31. From 10pm to midnight every day apart from
Fridays, youll be able to see the plants and flowers lit up with colourful LED
lighting, creating a different and magical atmosphere to the daytime show.
Image: Calips, available
under Creative Commons
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