Seeking sanctuary: the enclosed garden

The landscape of serenity
The landscape of serenity

The gardens of Chateau de Courances are acknowledged as one of the most integrated examples of an essential relationship between architecture and garden. I would have to agree.

The intricate formal design of the moated parterre garden close to the chateau leading onto the serenity of the pool of water in the garden enclosed by an avenue of trees beyond, gives a gradual sense of dematerialisation from the formal to the natural. This movement from the high artifice of the Chateau with its formal garden to the distant glimpse of what might be the wilderness beyond creates a wistful sense of connection between two differing but equally lovely outdoor environments.

This is a garden for contemplating from windows and for promenading within…but it is best enjoyed in solitude or populated with a profusion of people in a celebratory mood.


The gardens at Courances are considered one of the top fifty gardens by Tim Richardson. Tom’s description is at Gardenvisit.

Image: Parterre, Chateau de Courances, France

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