Loire Valley in France is renowned for its magnificent
chateaus. The one at the village of Villandry near Tour is
also noted for its wonderful gardens. Built on the left bank
of the Cher river around 1532, Villandry is the last of the
Renaissance Châteaux to be constructed in the Loire Valley.
Dr. Carvallo, the last owner, began restoring the gardens in
1906 in the Italian Renaissance style. The Dr. used plans left
by the architect DuCerceau.
The gardens of Villandry comprise three
tiers of terracing. The lowest level, in the Louis XIV style,
takes the form of a rectangle of slightly irregular shape
surrounding on three sides the two higher tiers of gardens. It
is devoted to
vegetables and has 9 square sections divided
into beds of various colored plants, surrounded by box hedges
and hardy plants.
The ornamental garden is set on the middle
terrace, where the castle stands, and in front of which is a
bed planted with a pergola walk shaded by vines. At the
opposite side of the garden to the castle, there is a maze of
clipped trees. On the highest level, whose edges are bounded
by arbors, lies the water garden.