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September 2019



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Lunar Eclipse

ysilme in photo_scavenger


What better illustration of "square" than the amazing vegetable gardens of Villandry Castle in the Loire valley?

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.
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Wow. Simply Amazing!
:o) Thanks!
The amount of work gardens like that require makes my back ache just thinking about, but it's beautiful to see.

Edited at 2013-09-25 12:08 pm (UTC)
*lol* Indeed! They were doing very modern, eco-conscient gardening there, at least, with automatic watering and such.

Suddenly my vegetable balcony feels even more inadequate than it really is.
Mwahaha, what a cool icon you have! :o)))
Don't - you have to do all the work yourself, I suppose, as do I? Every garden is a reason to be proud of, I think, no matter if it's just three pots on a windowsill with the plants growing other people call weeds. Growing things are growing things.
It motivated me, though, to continue my way of having the odd vegetable or edible plant among the shrubs, also for decorative value. I saw in Sweden that they had rhubarbs in their decorative shrubs in the middle of the lawn, and I planted my first one in a very similar way.
I do love my balcony (though I'm thinking of perhaps getting an allotment one of the coming years). This is nice to look at, but any garden that needs its own staff to look after it is too large for me *g*

How fascinating! I'd love to wander around there.
We could have wandered for days, and literally wandered for hours, it was just awesome. We were also lucky with the season: despite the sometimes unkind weather, it was perfect for seeing these gardens in full fruit and bloom. They're planted and harvested twice a year, and judging from the state of the veggies, just short of being harvested soon...
You got up higher than I did at Villandry! Nice to see these scenic views.
These were taken from the Donjon which you could climp up to from the second floor of the castle. Perhaps this is not always open? The staircase was one of the most sagging and difficult to manage I remember. I also was very glad about my zoom lens for the shots!
Oh wow! That is a truly spectacular vegetable patch.
It is, isn't it? It was my planned surprise for the WW, and this worked just perfectly. He loves it as much as I.
I love the way they planted these in such a wonderful pattern. Very pretty!

- Erulisse (one L)
Isn't it? I've always loved the simple beauty each kind of plant offers, and found some of my mom's veggie patches already very decorative.
Thanks! And nice to read you - I've missed you around!
It's sweet to be missed. We're in the process of moving. It will be a good thing in the long run, but it's certainly a lot of work right now!
Oh dear, I can imagine! Good luck with the rest of it, and no mishaps!