The four squares of the ornamental garden closest to the chateau make up the love garden.  The sections represent: tender love with heart-shaped hedges, passionate love with hearts broken apart symbolically by passion fickle love with the hedges fanning out in a volatile nature, and tragic love with the hedges shaped like the blades of daggers and swords Surrounding […]

As I mentioned before, the gardens at Chateau de Villandry are truly spectacular, sprawling across more than four times the acreage than the chateau.  In fact, the tour guide for the garden is a bigger pamphlet than the one provided for the castle.  The garden is made up an ornamental garden (including a “love garden”), […]

I’ve shared photos from my visits to Chateau d’Amboise, Chateau du Clos Luce, and Chateau du Chenonceau in the Loire Valley so far.  Today I move on to Chateau de Villandry.  In addition to the magnificent gardens, what I loved most about Chateau de Villandry was that a modern, “real” family lived here.  Well, as “real” a […]

Claude Monet’s home and gardens in Giverny, a charming French town of about 500 people in Normandy, is probably the most spectacular in town.  It’s certainly the most famous.  But there are many other lovely houses in Giverny.  Here are a few of my favorites as we walked from Monet’s house down to the church […]

Of all the gorgeous things I saw at Clos Normand, Claude Monet’s house in Giverny, his water lily pond was perhaps my favorite.  Surrounded by bamboo thickets and weeping willow trees, the serene pond is flanked by Monet’s old, green rowboat at one end and the Japanese foot bridge at the other. What do you […]