Meet me in the garden


France’s grand châteaux and humble private homes are opening their gates to the public in an annual horticultural celebration, says Zoë McIntyre

There is no more enjoyable way to spend a summer’s day than by strolling around France’s remarkable gardens, taking in the perfume of roses or admiring the tapestry of colour in symmetrical beds brimming with flowers.

This horticultural heritage is being celebrated from 31 May to 2 June when 1,700 private and public gardens take

part in the 11th edition of the Rendez¬vous aux Jardins. Participants range from châteaux, such as Hautefort in the Dordogne (pictured),

to private residences. Specially organised attractions include tours, children’s workshops, exhibitions, concerts,

night¬time walks, readings and talks. The theme, Le Jardin et ses Créateurs, coincides with the 400th anniversary of the birth of André le Nôtre, who laid out the gardens at the Château de Versailles.

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