About the garden
Château Rivau’s magnificent silhouette rises from the fields in the Loire Valley. The garden boasts fragrant roses and a collection of tulips, daffodils, iris, vegetables, ornamental grasses and an edible flower garden. Twenty gigantic sculptures are displayed in the grounds and turn the garden into an open-air museum.
Ten minutes away from the medieval town of Chino, Le Rivau stands out from other Loire Valley castles that were built during the Renaissance period, and has a fairytale quality complete with 15th-century keep, turrets and a drawbridge. The gardens are labelled ‘Remarkable Gardens of France’, part of the 17 ‘Most Beautiful Gardens of France’ and French National ‘Conservatory of Fragrant Roses’ (CCVS). They were conceived by Patricia Laigneau, the current owner, who has the double accreditation of art historian (Louvre School in Paris) and botanic expertise (Versailles Landscaping School).
At Rivau visitors are welcome to freely wander, picnic, enjoy the flowers and lunch at the local produce restaurant. From April to November, more than 6,000 perennials reveal their colours through the seasons. The butterfly garden, new for 2021, is therapeutic and meditative, with a collection of dwarf evergreen schrubs. September is the peak time for flowers such as Eucomis comosa ‘Sparkling Burgundy’, cannas, giant single-flowered red dahlia, such as ‘Eole’ and ‘Eos’, Erythrina crista-galli, elephant head amaranth, Echinacea and Tradescantia.
Ornamental grasses such as Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron‘, Miscanthus sinensis ‘Afrika’, Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’, Muhlenbergia capillaris and Schzachyrium scoparius ‘Cairo’ add height and outstanding colours.