The Limousin region of France is a veritable Eden for garden enthusiasts, with its distinct seasons of warm summers, crisp winters, golden autumns and effervescent springtimes. As each new season unfolds, it brings with it a symphony of new hues, fragrances, and fauna, delighting us with the transformation of our retreat’s grounds.
Now that Spring has finally sprung, we thought it the perfect time to tell you all about some of the most beautiful gardens in the region…
La Prieure d’Orsan
The Priory of Orsan holds a rich history spanning a millennium. Throughout its time, it has served as a place of pilgrimage, housed the heart of its founder, and survived wars, fire, and looting. In 1991, architects Sonia Lesot and Patrice Taravella took on the task of revitalizing the site, drawing inspiration from its past and incorporating symbolic elements into the design. Since then, the Priory has continued to flourish, earning the label of “Remarkable Garden” in 2004.
As you wander through the grounds, you will find an array of medicinal flowers, meticulously cultivated vegetable patches, a stunning rose garden, and beautifully crafted wooden structures that not only add visual interest but also provide guidance for the thriving vegetation.
After exploring the gardens, be sure to stop by the picturesque tea room to refresh and refuel with a bite to eat indoors or al fresco.
For nearly four decades, Liliane has devoted herself to nurturing her 8000m2 garden with care and passion. From the very beginning, she has sought to cultivate biodiversity and employ simple, chemical-free gardening techniques that allow nature to flourish at its own pace. As you wander through the garden, you will be enticed by the sight of beautiful cherry and apple trees, fragrant shrubs, and splashes of colour from the garden’s flowers and blossoms. Take in the wild beauty of this oasis, and let yourself be inspired by Liliane’s dedication to harmony with nature.
Chateau d’Ainay le Vieil
The gardens surrounding this gigantic historic site are a feast for the senses, just as impressive as the magnificent Chateau itself. After marvelling at the towers, moats and parapet, take a stroll through the perfectly landscaped grounds. As you wander, you’ll find an array of themed gardens, such as a meditation garden and herb garden, each offering a unique and peaceful atmosphere. Be sure also to visit the water garden, where the soothing sounds of flowing water will transport you to a state of serenity.
Jardins Clos du Prefons
For a quarter of a century, the Jardins Clos du Préfons has beckoned visitors to wander through its lush, green landscape. Creator Christian Allaert masterfully incorporated the original stone wall structures into the design, creating a series of small gardens each with its own distinct ambiance. Stroll along winding paths bordered by a tapestry of ornamental and native plants, cross a picturesque footbridge, and discover hidden nooks to rest and recharge.
Jardins de l’Eveche
Nestled within the bustling heart of Limoges city, the Eveche gardens sprawl over 5 hectares, offering breathtaking views of the River Vienne. The grand former episcopal palace and cathedral provide a stunning backdrop for the gardens’ fragrant and colourful flowerbeds, tranquil ponds, immaculate lawns, and orangery. Each plant is expertly categorized and labelled, providing an opportunity for you to learn about their uses, rarity, and origins as you wander through the different areas of the garden. Explore the Eveche gardens and revel in the beauty and diversity of the plant life on display.
For more ideas on great site-seeing days out from the Wyndham Halcyon Retreat, hop over to some of our other blogs; Land of Castles, La Souterraine, Pretty Villages.