One of the things in the Perigord that The Beloved had on her to-see list was “The Suspended Gardens of Marquessac”, which seeing as they were “gardens”, I didn’t really know that much about. But I was on vacation in a beautiful area of France, enjoying gorgeous early Spring weather, and eating lots of things made with duck fat, so I was pretty amenable to stopping in. In doing so, I received one of the great fun surprises of our vacation.
Marquessac is large, covering more than 100 acres – and is divided into two sections: a boxwood garden and more sprawling area with trails and “follies”. The boxwood garden, I think, is the most well-known and is certainly the most whimsical, especially considering that Leon The Peacock greeted us upon our arrival.
The boxwoods are in a web of little paths and aisles, and have been trimmed into various shapes and contours (apparently, the gardeners have free reign on how they want them to turn out). It was very fun and clever and a real treat to see such imagination at work on such an unusual (and living!) canvass.
The other part of Marquessac covers the larger grounds (that had once been part of the family’s estate) with cliff-side trails (hence, the ‘suspended’ part) that overlook the Dordogne River and are dotted with large pieces of art and dry-stone stacked huts (cloches).
There was one with a thatched-covered roof at the end of a long, straight lane that looked like something straight out of a fairy tale.
It was a great visit and like so many things that week, we had it essentially all to ourselves.
Easily one of my favorite stops of the trip.