Chaumont Garden Festival

When we went to France in the summer, because we were in the Loire Valley we visited a lot of chateaux.  Unsurprisingly, after a few days of this the kids (and I) began to get chateauitis.  So we started to find ways that DH could indulge his passion for looking round them while entertaining the kids in other ways.

At Chaumont there was a brilliant garden festival in the grounds.  The kids were a bit dubious as to the entertainment value, but they soon decided it was worth it.   The grounds were divided into several different sections, like small rooms and each had been made into an original garden by a sponsor.   The Garden Festival website has a link to each garden with an English version.

The entrance to the festival interested me especially.  It had sculptures made from rusty poles.

rust sculpture

rusty sculpture

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will not be surprised to hear that I wanted to enhance it with some fabric!

They especially liked the one sponsored by the French railway company, SNCF, called Just Move It.  It had tubs and sections on bits of railway line which you could push and pull about to rearrange it to suit the way you wanted it.

garden planters on railway tracks

Another noteworthy garden had lots of planters up in the air suspended by wires:

planters up in the air on wires

And yet another made the garden look bigger using mirrors:

garden with mirrors

They also had an interesting garden where you could move various ‘screens’ to frame the flowers planted behind.  This made me think of the use of aperture cards to find interesting portions of a design which we learnt about at City & Guilds.

garden with 'frames' in front

I also liked this garden where they had painted tree trunks blue to make a very sculptural, and rather eery set of figures…

blue tree trunk figures

They marched off across this lake as well:

sculptural blue figures across lake

They had a graffiti garden, too!

fence with graffiti

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6 Comments:

  1. I went to Chaumont in June and loved the garden festival there. The blue trees reminded my husband of the talking trees in Lord of the rings. My favourite garden was the one with the migrants that had sculptures of a man with a case in one hand, bird cage in the other and an African woman with the basket (with plant growing) on her head.

    When I saw your first photos with the wire arches (did you try walking on the bridge) I instantly knew where that was. Fascinating place.

    Oh yes, and the chateau had a lovely view across the valley. I took pictures of the windows as I loved the patterns in the leading.

    Regards

    Sue

  2. Liz thanks for sharing this I just love the blue twiggy people,

    like the knitting in an earlier post too,

  3. I loved seeing these funky garden scenes. We had a similar place near where we used to live, in California.

  4. Glad you like these photos!

    Sue, yes, we did walk on the bridge (if it’s the one I think you mean, we had to, to go along the path).. I just looked up in my photos and I see I have one of DS3 walking on it.

    Yes, I liked the migrants’ garden too – I loved the idea of growing flowers in a suitcase.

    We walked up a long path from the road and there were some gorgeous views of the Loire from there. I didn’t actually go into the chateau and DH was rather disappointed because it was being refurbished and half the rooms were unviewable. So he ended up waiting quite a long time for us as we stayed in the garden festival until the very last minute – we allowed an hour and a half (kids’ attention spans and all that…) and we could have stayed much longer.

  5. Wow, talk about creativity… I have never seen something like this before, Looks great!!

    How long does it take to do the whole set of Artwork like this?

  6. I’m afraid I have no idea, Budjuni – maybe if you click on the link to the garden festival it’ll tell you on their website…

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