Chaumont-sur-Loire International Garden Festival

The International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire offers a multitude of surprises and new plant-based creations to its visitors. Now in its 28th year, the festival will run from 25 April to 3 November 2019 with the theme of ‘Paradise Gardens’.

Less than 200km from Paris between Tours and Blois, lies a natural oasis perched 40 metres above the wild River Loire: the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire. The doors to its chateau and surrounding park are open all year round, but the arguable star of the calendar is the garden festival from April to November, bursting with plant curiosities including some rare species, and unusual blooms usually considered unobtainable.

‘Paradise Gardens’

Landscapers, gardeners and scenographers have worked on the theme of ‘Paradise Gardens’ this year, with creations selected by a jury of six special guests bestowed with a ‘green card’, and chaired by Prince Amyn Aga Khan. In total, 30 gardens will embody their creators’ contemporary vision of a plant paradise, combining utopia with inventions of our time.

Among the creations on display, ‘Jardin des Solitudes’ invites the visitor to follow their intuition and listen to their own desires by moving through different plant environments. ‘Parfum du Paradis’ is a visual interpretation of Patrick Süskind’s novel Le Parfum, while ‘Elixir Floral’ is an exuberance of plants combining scents and sounds. ‘Beyond the Clouds’ combines plants with technology, with a QR code emerging from the ground.

On the sidelines of the festival, the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire also presents new features this year, starting with two events that will enrich its cultural programme. ‘When Blooming is Art’ opens the floor to French and foreign artists and decorators for beautiful floral compositions celebrating plants. In October, ‘Botaniques de Chaumont-sur-Loire’ is a series of workshops with sales of rare, organic plants.

New developments are also emerging in the gardens of the estate, including a ‘Walk of Shadows’ and a water garden designed to refresh visitors. Also new for this year is a greenhouse with unusual plant collections that will change from month to month, as well as gardening classes.

Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, in Loire Valley