The Jardins de l'Albarede visitor guide

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The Jardins de l'Albarede is an attractive garden near to Domme in the Dordogne department. The garden is in a valley surounded by wooded hills over which it has some splendid views.

Explore the Jardins de l'Albarede

The Jardins de l'Albarede was created in 1990 in a pretty setting surrounded by wooded hills and near to Domme and the river Dordogne. When they arrived Serge and Brigitte Lapouge found the land to be very poor and dry and summers here are hot and dry and winters cold. Not the ideal conditions for a French garden but they knew the land had once supported a family and the area was used for growing lavender and so they decided to go ahead.

By using local plants and plants adapted to dry conditions and using lots of mulch to protect against the hot dry summers the garden has established and grown to include over a thousand varieties of plants. No chemical pesticides or herbicides are used and the garden is very wildlife and insect friendly which helps to keep a natural balance and keep the garden healthy.

The Jardins de l'Albarede

When you enter the garden you first come to the swimming pool area which is edged on one side with flowers and on the other with squares of natural paving interspersed with squares of culinary and medicinal herbs. Brush by the plants and the air is filled with the heady scent of  the herbs.

Beyond here is a small stone cottage which is rented out to guests and a long border in the style of an English garden. This border is filled with plants which like dry conditions such as lavender, achilleas, fennel, artemesia and evening primrose flowers.

On the other side of the lawn is the vegetable garden but this has been planted in a style that is both attractive and productive. Vegetables suited to the harsh conditions have been chosen and these are often ancient varieties. Flowers are planted amongst the vegetables to attract beneficial insects and stakes and supports made from branches from the garden add to the attractive look of the garden.


Next stop is the orchard full of apple trees as apples are the only fruit that survive here. Rose borders along the edges make for a charming addition to the orchard and a wild flower meadow has also been created.

One of our favourite parts of the garden is the box garden where box hedges have been trimmed into fanciful shapes and add drama to the area below the old farmhouse of the owners. Sadly the dreaded box caterpillar has attacked the hedges but the decision not to treat this seems to be paying off and the box appears to be recovering.

Finally take the path to the top of the garden where there are lovely views over the surrounding valley and where the natural trees and shrubs of the hillside are offset with a number of clipped bushes and trees adding nicely to the views.

The Jardins de l'Albarede

Les Jardins de l'Albarede garden guide

The Jardins de l'Albarede are open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings from early June until September. A visit costs 6euros for adults and over 12s.

Jardins de l'Albarede, 24250 Saint Cybranet

Places to visit nearby

The medieval village of Domme is nearby. It is one of the most beautiful villages of France and has stunning views over the Dordogne river and a network of caves underneath its main square.

You can find more travel ideas in the Dordogne guide and the Aquitaine guide.

See also: 

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The French version of this page is at The Jardins de l'Albarede (Francais)