About the garden
A majestic silhouette rises from the midst of the fields in the Loire Valley. The garden boasts a conservatory of fragrant roses and a collection of tulips, daffodils, iris, vegetables, ornamental grasses and an edible flower garden. Twenty gigantic sculptures are displayed on the grounds and turn the garden into a genuine open-air museum.
Located 10 minutes away from the medieval town of Chinon, Le Rivau stands out from other Loire Valley castles that were all built during the Renaissance period, and has a real fairytale quality, connecting our inner child, complete with a 15th-century keep, turrets and a drawbridge. The gardens are labelled 'Remarkable Gardens of France', and French National 'Conservatory of Fragrant Roses' (CCVS). They were conceived by Patricia Laigneau, the current owner, who has the double approach of Art Historian (Louvre School in Paris) and Botanic expertise (Versailles Landscaping School).
More naturalistic than formal French gardens, at Rivau visitors are welcome to freely wander, picnic, enjoy all the scents of flowers and can even have lunch at the local produce restaurant. From April to November, the blooms alternate as more than 6,000 perennials reveal their colours through the seasons. New for 2023 is The Garden of Edible Flowers, a summer garden as beautiful to see as to taste.
September is the peak 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 ‘Red Baron‘, Miscanthus sinensis ‘Afrika’, Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’, Muhlenbergia capillaris and Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Cairo’ add height and outstanding colours.