Monday, June 4, 2012

Les Jardins du Rivau

On behalf of all our gardening friends, we went to Rivau to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its gardens.  We hadn't realized that the gardens were recreated from the château's archives and conjure up engravings from the Middle Ages and fairy tales of the time.  Not at all the formal gardens we expected.

Conservation (in a jar)
Plastic Tree

The Enchanted Forest, full of elves and topiary creatures.

Big, giant boots

The Seven Dwarves

HUGE watering can

400 species of scented roses have made Le Rivau "the French conservatory of fragrant roses".

As we made our way to the château, we meandered down the Perfumed Path and appreciated the subtle fragrances that wafted our way.

Karl enters labyrinth

Karl, lost in labyrinth
Exhausted at labyrinth finish

The Ogre is home!

The Walking Forest

Jean-Pierre Raynaud's "Red Pot" is the landmark of this flower bed.
A wee flower pot, by Raynaud

The Secret Garden

Rapunzel, let down your golden hair

Rapunzel's tower is surrounded by the fragrant "Love Potion Garden".

A bit of whimsy

Medieval Château

Old, but not ruined

The Château du Rivau dates from the 13th and 15th centuries and was immortalized by the famous French writer Rabelais.  It has kept both its authenticity and its refinement.

The fountain furnished the property with water and what was left over fell into the "pediluve" or small foot bath used to clean off the horses.

Marguerite at the fountain

Wild Boar

Just another hunting trophy

Knight in shining armour

I can see clearly now

On one side of the courtyard are the Royal Renaissance stables that provided war stallions for King François I.  Joan of Arc bought her war horses here before heading to Chinon to meet the Dauphin, Charles.  Classified Historical Monuments, these buildings are dedicated to Rivau's equestrian past and to the world of horses.

We stopped for lunch at the "Table des fées" and had a "Salade P'tit Poucet", which is Tom Thumb's salad.  It had tomatoes that were blood red and had lots of brown in them, looking like they were passed their prime.  They turned out to be the sweetest and most delicious tomatoes we've ever eaten!  They accompanied a mound of fresh greens, slivers of Parmesan cheese, chives, and a whole breast of roasted chicken.

1 comment:

  1. Oh,what an adorable garden! Wow, you'll have to try out some of those things in your garden when you get home. This must indeed have been very fragrant to walk through.