Each summer since 1992 the castle grounds of Chaumont-sur-Loire, located in the Loire Valley about 150 miles south of Paris, have hosted the innovative garden installations of the International Festival of Gardens. Twenty-six artists from around the world design garden spaces based on a given theme; in 2011, Gardens of the Future or the Art of Happy Biodiversity. Other nature related art installations are scattered throughout the castle grounds.
As with all art, individual interpretations of a given theme range from the simplistic yet beautiful – Biodiversity in Blue, “It (the garden) plays both on the diversity of plants and on the infinite diversities of the shades of blue”, to the densely abstract – The Pixelated Garden, “This garden imagines the future as being in a state of continuous technical development and plays as if with coloured pixels, with nothing being better able to communicate colour, than plants”, to the just plain odd – Garden in the Street, “What if in the near future, either out of choice or necessity, biodiversity became the essential reason for the existence of the street,…What if tomorrow’s garden was the street?” For lovers of modern art or gardens, and especially lovers of both, I know of nothing else like it. Truly a unique experience. Runs every year from April to October.
Click here for more information on the individual installations. This section of the website is in French only, but if you click on one of the numbers shown on the map it will give you a write up on that particular garden with a brown info plaque in English on the bottom right hand side.
Click here for more information on the Chateau-sur-Loire, grounds and other practical information.
July 3, 2011
For links to all the posts in this series see the Other Destinations in France page.