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Follow Monty Don’s footsteps in the French Gardens


Many Country Gardener readers would have tuned in to the Monty Don’s French Gardens on BBC2, where the charismatic gardening guru expressed his passion for French gardens and the way they reflect on the French culture’s love of good food, order and beauty.


Monty Don explained he had an adventure as a young man, travelling through the garden landscapes of France.


It’s easy to understand why he was so touched by what he saw, as French gardening techniques produce simply awe inspiring results. The most prominent of French garden designs is seen in the French Formal style.


This style was pioneered by 17th Century landscape architect André Le Nôtre, the man responsible for designing the beautiful Versailles Palace gardens for King Louis XIV.


Whilst the gardens of Versailles are one of the best known examples of the French garden, consider the Normandy region alone has over 70 parks and gardens to visit.


The templates of this design can be witnessed when visiting the Château de Bosmelet Gardens.


Within driving range of the Chateau you can find the Abbey de Valloires which boasts a 12th Century Cistercian abbey and eight hectares of botanical gardens. Monet’s Gardens in Giverny is another very special location, where you will find yourself walking through the colourful, serene scenery the Impressionist artist painted in his famous canvasses.


It is an appealing prospect to follow in Monty Don’s footsteps and experience French gardens as he did, but the reality might pose a logistical headache for the lone traveller.


However, there is another way. By organising a group tour with friends and colleagues, many of the places that influenced Monty Don can be witnessed in one short break. Group travel offers value for money and an expert tour guide will be on hand to make the trip informed and comfortable.


Valloires Abbey is a 12th century Cistercian abbey and its gardens one of France’s best


If you like the idea of visiting any of the destinations mentioned visit


European Connoisseurs Travel’s website where there is a wide range of group tours on offer to the gardens of France.


European Connoisseurs Travel Ltd. www.ecttravel.com Contact Kristell on freephone 0800 2980588 or email: Kristell@ecttravel.com


Country Gardener


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