About the garden
Gareth Casey & Cyril Pearon
Owned by Gareth Casey & Cyril Pearon, the Orsan Gardens were created in 1993 in the grounds of a former monastery and listed historical monument, the Prieuré Notre Dame d’Orsan, which was established in 1107 by Robert d’Arbrissel as an off-shoot of the Abbey of Fontevraud.
The layout of these remarkable contemporary gardens was inspired by medieval tapestries and illuminations. A true architectural gem, the site consists of more than 12 gardens, placed around a central cloister, and extending outwards to fields and woodlands. The hornbeam hedge arches surround a small vineyard, from which grape juice is made. Planting is symbolic, with many flowering plants added in recent years. Produce from the garden is used for jams and other bottled goods, and the orchards supply the apples for the house apple juice, always available in the garden shop.
The gardens enjoy an idyllic location in the Berry region of Central France. The brainchild of two architects, Sonia Lesot and Patrice Taravella, the maintenance is skillfully handled by four gardeners, with new installations and plants added seasonally. Today the gardens are open to the public from April to October and offer a rich variety of garden experiences, from design to horticulture, wildlife, restfulness, production, workshops and shopping.
Orsan is beautiful throughout the year, the changing seasons drawing attention to the architecture, structures, vegetation and colour.