10 exceptional gardens

Domaine de la Garenne-Lemot, Clisson

Created in the early 19th century, this large Italian-inspired park cleverly combines a perfectly landscaped garden with much more rebellious, abundant and rolling scenery. As they stroll, visitors discover, Antiquity-inspired mills, columns and statues. A neo-classical villa and house with Tuscan finery accentuate the site's Italian identity.

Loire-Atlantique - open all year round

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Parc de l’Auneau, Chantonnay

In the heart of the Vendée countryside, the Parc de l'Auneau, classed a remarkable garden, there sits a viewpoint that dominates the Vallée du Petit Lait beside a proud Tuscan house. The place gives visitors an amazing sensation of calm... There are few flowers here except the heritage roses, but there is a variety of incredible trees, such as European beech, American oak, Portugal laurel, sycamore and blue cedar.

Vendée - open early July and all of September, visits upon request all year round

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Jardin du Donjon de Ballon

There are actually several gardens at the foot of this Middle-Ages castle, such as the Lime Tree Walkway or the Lion Courtyard, interspersed with willows, maples and rose beds. Also discover the Rose Garden and the Panoramic Moat which, besides the beauty of their fruit trees, boast an uninterrupted view of the Normandie-Maine park. The show-stopper remains the Medieval Walled Garden, with its very geometric lines and many plant species.

Sarthe - Open all year round
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Jardin du Château du Pin, Champtocé-sur-Loire

Classed as a historical monument and a "remarkable garden", this multi-layer space includes some fifty yews, perfectly pruned, around a waterlily pond. The mysterious outlines of these trees make us imagine dreamlike characters. Nearby, there are orange, mandarin and lemon trees and, further, yellow roses, white cyclamen, shrubs, perennials, and more. A treat for the nose!

Anjou - open May to October
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Potager du Château Colbert, Maulévrier

In addition to its Oriental Park, Maulévrier boasts another significant natural setting with this 8,000-m2 kitchen garden. Left abandoned after the Second World War, it was recreated according to the original 18th-century plans and re-opened in 2014. The fruit and vegetables grown her are used in the gastronomic restaurant at the adjoining Château Colbert which, like Versailles, is the work of the architect Mansart.

Anjou - open late May to early October
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Le Potager Extraordinaire, La Mothe-Achard

Given its incredible collection of plants, some of which are from the other side of the world, this Extraordinary Kitchen Garden truly deserves its name... Children love the carnivorous plants, others the smell of coca cola or Haribo tagada strawberry, or species such as the exploding cornichon! The site offers a whole host of events, as well as cookery classes.

Vendée - open July to October
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Jardin de la Pellerine

Set around a stunning 17th-century residence, this green estate is actually made up of a collection of small gardens, each boasting their own charm. Ponds, pergolas and delightful walkways enhance these green spaces, adding to the romantic and intimate character of the site.

Mayenne - open May to mid-October
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Jardin du Petit-Bordeaux, Saint-Biez-en-Belin

Tucked in the heart of a forest, this four-seasons garden brings together almost 4,000 plants which create changing scenes depending on the season. The creators of this Eden have cleverly played with volumes and paid as much attention to the foliage as the flowers. A special mention goes to the "philosophical walkway", scattered with texts by writers and perfect for meditation!

Sarthe - open April to mid-November
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Camifolia, Chemillé-Melay

Here is a less surprising garden, dedicated entirely to aromatic plants. Over 500 species flourish within the six themed spaces that showcase scents, medicinal properties, flavours and local crops! The place has a few surprises in store, such as the still, the impressive sculptures of "medicine men", the Sylvan theatre or the Mediterranean hothouse. Workshops and family-based activities are regularly on offer.

Anjou - open May to June and August to October
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Jardins des Renaudies, Colombiers-du-Plessis

Both an English-style floral park and an ecomuseum dedicated to rural life, the Jardins des Renaudies have over 3,000 varieties of plants such as camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas, perennials and hydrangeas. The site organises events throughout the year, such as an Easter-egg hunt at Easter, carriage rides, a spring market or a pumpkin party in Autumn. A corn maze, open from late July, keeps kids happy, while the tearoom hosts adults every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Mayenne - open April to October
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Stroll through the remarkable parks, gardens, kitchen gardens and arboretums that populate the Atlantic Loire Valley region. These green settings each have their own unique qualities and even have a few incredible surprises in store for walkers....

There's something for everyone! From the medieval garden to the giant kitchen garden, as well as the romantic estate, the Italian-accented park and the one that rubs shoulders with a historic monument, every department of our green region has an Eden-like beauty that pays tribute to the devotees who meticulously maintain their charms.

Here's a little tour, in pictures, of the remarkable sites that stand out among the myriad Edens in Atlantic Loire Valley.

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