I spent the last day of the year at the Château La Ballue, right out near the west coast of France, actually not far from the Mont St Michel. I’d admired pictures of their gardens for so many years, that I really was very excited to see them in person, even if the mid winter season is not ideal.
The wonderful surprise was that as well as the outstanding gardens, the inside of the château is just perfect too. Our room was big and warm with very high ceilings and a big comfy bed, and the breakfast was divine. Everything from home baked pastries, to crystal chandeliers to the view out of the window on to that garden.
So here for you are a few pictures of this lovely château and grounds. This isn’t a sponsored post, in fact they don’t even know that I am writing it, just wanted to share this great address if ever you decide to head out to see the Mont st Michel and wonder where to stay.
The house dates back to the 17th century, it is out in the country, quite alone, which of course it what gives the fantastic and never ending views.
In the early 19th century it was a popular spot for celebrated French writers such as Victor Hugo, but at that time the gardens were quite simple, meadow like even. In 1973 a huge renovation was undertaken by two architects, including the maze and the main outline of the garden. The work was not maintained and by 1989 it was completely overgrown. Ten years later in 1996 it was rescued for a second time and and in the space of just three years, was officially recognised as a historical monument. Today, the current owners continue this work with passion and fine judgement, and the result is breathtaking.
My pictures are taken in the dead of winter, but the beauty of this kind of French style garden, is that it relies more on shape and structure than ornate flower beds. It is beautiful in any season. If you visit their website, you’ll find plenty of photos of the garden in bloom.
The lines of the garden are very bold, and the use of topiary adds some more gentle detail, and extra symmetry.
If you love gardens and château life, then I definitely recommend staying here. Of course you can also just stop and visit the gardens, but by staying overnight, you get that special pleasure of seeing the gardens at dawn – the best motivation for getting out of bed early!