At the time of the layout of the original gardens, in the Renaissance, many vegetables had been brought to Europe only very recently, and were precious and rare. Every lord and lady of the manor therefore preferred to have easy but also decorative access to them to see for themselves if the new plants grew well and got used tot he different climate. Borrowing the square patterns of monastery vegetable and herb gardens, the idea of this type of Renaissance garden was born and reconstrcuted later at Villandry castle. They consist today of nine large squares, nearly all filled with veggies, herbs and some fruit, all planted in the most decorative way possible, but also all harvested and used for eating.
The green hedges surrounding each of the large squares are very low-cut espalier apple trees, only about hip-height but bearing lots of fruit. In this square, you also see red begonias, black radishes (the horizontal green stripes), eggplants (the small dark strips forming the middle cross), tiny black peppers in the dark violet squares, white decorative (but edible) cabbage, artichockes (the four small squares nearly in the center) and four "crosses" of celery.
The labyrinth in the square at the left is also filled with celery.
Even pumpkin patches make for a decorative pattern as you see here. The dark blueish-green L-shaped beds are planted with leeks, and the violet squares besides them contain another variety of decorative cabbage.