International Garden Festival Chateau de Chaumont

February 8, 2009

The Chateau de Chaumont in the Loire Valley holds the Chaumont Garden Festival, the French equivalent to the Chelsea Garden Show.

When is it? Each year from late April to mid-October. In 2009 it will run from April 29th to October 18th.

Ticketing? Tickets in the past have been about 9 euros.

Indoors/Outdoors,  Facility? Outdoors.  Held on the grounds of the Chateau de Chaumont in the Loire Valley. Approximately 30 show gardens are given to international garden designers to have their way.  Additionally there is the Chateau’s landscaped grounds, flower house and deep gorge (complete with wooden suspension bridge).

There’s a set theme that changes each year.  In 2006 the theme was, “At Play in the Garden.”  In 2007 the theme was “Mobile! Gardens for a World on the Move!”. In 2009 it will be’GARDENS OF COLOUR.  In 2009 Twenty gardens have been selected from almost 300 international proposals.  Additionally, the offer of a, “Carte blanche”, or free hand has been extended to several personalities:
– Patrick Blanc, returning to Chaumont-sur-Loire with a new and exciting project,
– Eric Borja and Simon Crouzet, will intervene in the landscaped château grounds,
– Michel Racine et Béatrice Saurel will reinvent the “sentiers des fers sauvages”, shaded woodland walk,
– The painter, Christophe Cuzin, specialist in colours
– Exceptional colourist and garden enthusiast, Christophe Robin

Designs from the 2009 edition will for the first time be lit allowing for night visits.

A garden restaurant is set up for the duration of the event offering upscale dining on the grounds.

Size? The show attracts in the region of 150,000 visitors annually.

Organizer? Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire,,

History?  2009 will be the 18th year of Chaumont.

Responses to the show…My own opinion of the show – if I have been there…reviews, blog comments…whatever I can find from people who have actually attended or participated: I have never been, but have heard many designers rave about the exciting things that they can see and do there.
Jim at Art of Gardening made this post about the festival.
Water Gardener magazine says:

“If you want radical design; if you would like to see gardens that can lift your spirits and put a smile on the your face; if you want to get some clues as to what garden design is going to be like in the UK in 10years time; if you want to see what weird things you can do with water, GO TO CHAUMONT! You never thought gardens could be anything like this and it will make you re-examine the foundations of your idea on what a garden really is.

This is a garden show like no other. It demonstrates THE cutting edge of garden design for the future in gardens that are made to last. None of the fly-by-night, unsustainable-mad designer nonsense-built just for the show here. It may be mad design, but it has to be sustainable. These are gardens you can touch, smell and feel (and sometimes get wet in!). Get in get involved in them, everyone else does. They are your gardens to experience for the time that you are there. These gardens have to be resilient to the bus loads of school kids spooned in in hoards. People pour into this garden Festival week after week to experience this festival. But don’t let that put you off, because there is room for a lot of people and it is never crowded like the British Shows. This a day out to relax into.”

Here are a few pictures from previous displays at Chaumont.

Chaumont international garden festival inspiration - France
1. Festival des jardins de Chaumont-sur-Loire, 27 août 2008 : vue sur le château, 2. Chaumont-sur-Loire, 3. blok, 4. Untitled, 5. Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, 6. “Repos éternel”, jardin n° 20. Festival des jardins de Chaumont-sur-Loire, 27 août 2008., 7. “Entre 2”. Festival des jardins de Chaumont-sur-Loire, 27 août 2008., 8. Poppies at Chaumont-sur-Loire, 9. Animal “végétal”, 10. P1000207, 11. Jouez… comme il vous plaira !, 12. Le jeu de Venus et du hasard, 13. Sculpture au Festival des Jardins de Chaumont, 14. Jardins de Chaumont sur Loire, 15. Chaumont-sur-Loire garden festival, 16. Chaumont-sur-Loire Garden Festival

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  1. Thanks for including my old post as part of this post! It’s always nice when a past post effort sees the light of day again. I highly recommend Chaumont-sur-Loire at any time of the year, but the garden festival is priority #1. I want to get back there, as the 25-30 gardens change each year with the theme.

    It’s couple hours from Paris, but worth the trip. Especially if you spend time there and can see the amazing potager at Villandry and gardens of the other chateaux in the area. Here are some other posts of individual gardens from my visit to Chaumont-sur-Loire:

  2. rochelle says:

    thanks jim for posting all of these great links to your photos…I really enjoyed them.

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