Le Bouquet, Dordogne visitors guide
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Le jardin de Bouquet is a large park and woodland next to the Chateau du Bouguet whice has been laid out with a large number of parterres made up of clipped box and several other hedgeing and herbaceous plants. The garden can be found on the edge of the village of Sorges, famous for its truffles.
Explore the Le Bouquet garden
France This Way comment: The Le Bouquet garden is unlike any garden we have visited and the precision of the different parterres and patterns is impressive.
The Chateau du Bouquet was built in 1840 and its courtyard is now the entrance to the gardens. Once a wine chateau the land surrounding the gardens has now been transformed into a large garden with a 2 kilometer walk leading round its large array of geometric topiary gardens.
From conception to completion has taken eight years and the gardens have now opened to the public. Each of the 50 parterres has an individual design or motif and this has been interpreted through the planting and shaping of hedges of different varieties of box and other plants.
Alongside each parterre is a sign clearly showing the design of the garden and the plants used for each section. The bushes have been rigouously pruned to the precise shapes and the mix of shapes and the different colours through for example using different varieties of buxus gives definition and drama to the patterns.
Each parterre has been carefully selected for its particlular location. In the woodland section of the garden at the begining of the two kilometer walk the motifs tend to be smaller and to follow the shape of the clearing they occupy. Out in the open larger and more elaborate designs fill the spaces available.
There are not many flowers in the designs though some do use flowers. For example Perovskia or Russian sage provides a wave of blue in one section and the delicate white gaura flowers add light and movement to another.
There is a Rosery with 1500 rose plants and a colourful design laid out with a mix of herbaceous plants including geraniums and santolina though this garden was suffering a little when I visited due to the extremely dry conditions we had experienced in the summer.
All along the walk there are benches to allow a moment to pause and enjoy the shapes and textures of the gardens and towards the end there is a pleasant pond area and a garden laid out using flowering shrubs for a contrast to the green topiaries of most of the other designs.
The Le Bouquet garden is on the edge of the village of Sorges and is open from 1 May to 31 October from 09.30 to 12.30 and 14.30 to 18.30. It costs 7 euros for adults and 3 euros for 10-17s.
Where to visit nearby?
The village of Sorges is at the centre of the truffle market in the Dordogne and has an interesting truffle museum to visit.
Topiary is an art form often used in French gardens and in the Dordogne there are two more very special topiary gardens. The Jardins de Marqueyssac near La Roque Gageac and the Jardins d'Eyrignac near Sarlat are both well worth a visit.
The nearby village of Saint Jean de Cole is one of France's "most beautiful villages".
Map of Le Bouquet and places nearby
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Eglise Notre Dame de l'Assomption (Thiviers): religious monument (12 km)
- Saint-Jean-de-Cole: most beautiful village (13 km)
- Chateau de Puyguilhem: national monument (15 km)
- Abbaye Cistercienne de Boschaud (Villars): religious monument (16 km)
- Perigueux: town of art and history (18 km)
- Perigueux cathédrale Saint Front (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (18 km)
- Abbaye Saint Pierre (Brantome): religious monument (19 km)
- Eglise Saint Etienne de la Cité (Perigueux): religious monument (19 km)
- Abbaye Notre Dame (Chancelade): religious monument (20 km)
- Ancien Prieuré de Merlande (La Chapelle-Gonaguet): religious monument (20 km)
- Jardins du château de Hautefort: remarkable garden (22 km)
- Nontron: recommended detour (30 km)
The French version of this page is at Le Bouquet (Francais)