Enchanted Garden

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.

Welcoming Committee

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.

Boxwood Garden


Path to Chateau

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).

Path through the garden


Cliff-side view from gardens

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.

Inside of cloche hut

It was a great visit and like so many things that week, we had it essentially all to ourselves.

Hut at the very end of the trail

Easily one of my favorite stops of the trip.


17 thoughts on “Enchanted Garden

  1. It’s pictures like these that make be very discontented with my condo in the Sacramento suburbs. I want to live in garden like this!

    • The garden isn’t actually that old — it was began in the 1990s after the foundation took over from the family that couldn’t hold it anymore. In that vein, it was interesting to see which chateaus were open to the public and which one were still privately held.

    • trailblazer — all these shots are from my Canon Powershot A1000-IS. It’s a good point-and-shoot. I don’t usually have to do anything to the photos other than crop and straighten. In some I’ve diminished the exposure, but that’s usually for the bright pictures.

  2. Pingback: The French Underground | Stevil

    • Thanks BD — it was a tremendously wonderful place. The photos came out well considering it was a pretty hot, hazy day. I’d have loved to go back in the early morning or late afternoon for some great light. Or mist — can you imagine mist?

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