Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire visitor guide

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Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire is a contemporary garden on a hillside overlooking the pretty town of Terrasson-Lavilledieu in the Dordogne.

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France This Way review: the position of the gardens with great views of Terrasson as well as some interesting features such as the lovely fountain area make the gardens worth a visit.

The entrance to the gardens can be found in the centre of Terrasson on the edge of the Place de Genouillac. All visits to the garden are guided visits and set off every half hour or so.

Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire

The garden visit starts in a wooded area. The sloping edges of the woods are covered with large blocks of box clipped to form flat rectangular blocks and setting the scene for the contemporary nature of the gardens.

Once the path winds through a dense woodland area you will notice a golden ribbon of metal winding through the tree canopy and below this flowering plants and shrubs lighten and brighten the woodland setting.

The path leads upwards to a kind of outdoor theatre with views over the glass roof of the greenhouses as well as glimpses of the town of Terrasson below. The greenhouse has a flat roof to evoke a mirror of water.

The path then leads to a more open section of hillside with wide flower beds of mostly blue flowers with reflect the blue/grey of the slate rooves of Terrasson and the views of the town from here are stunning .


These beds lead to the highlight of the garden, a large area of fountains that you can walk amongst which is particularly welcome on a hot day in the summer. At one side of the fountain area dense plantings of a low growing pale stripey bamboo which gives a modern touch to the area.

On the other side a stream of water cascades down steps in the hillside to meet the fountain area and continue down the hillside. The garden next to the cascade is simply but beautifully planted with Mediterranean style planting.

A large pond is next on the visit and this leads to the roserie where a large metal structure supports and frames a large rose garden. A tunnel of clipped box then leads to the greenhouses which have also been created in a contemporary style.

In total there are six hectares of garden with thirteen different areas and the gardens include 2000 rose bushes, 20,000 perennials, 8,000 trees and shrubs and 120 jets of water.

Unfortunately (in our opinion) the gardens have to be visited as part of a guided visit rather than being free to walk the gardens at your own pace. However the combination of garden and views makes a visit worthwhile.

A visit takes about an hour and the gardens are open from 10.00 to 18.00 in July and August but close for lunch and all day Tuesday in May, June, September and October.

Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire

Attractions nearby

Terrasson itself is a lovely town especially the area around Place Bouquier and you will not want to miss a visit whilst you are here. Nearby Montignac is also pretty and is home to the world famous Lascaux caves that should definitely be on your agenda.

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

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Map of Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire and places nearby


Visit near Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire with France This Way reviews



The quiet town of Terrasson in the north of the department is best known for the extensive Gardens of the Imagination

Terrasson guide


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Montignac guide
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The French version of this page is at Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire (Francais)