getting grand with flowers

by Sharon Santoni

I was recently lucky enough to spend 24 hours in the Loire Valley. We have a tour there at the end of August, and I needed to check some addresses – never a hardship!

I had heard about the amazing flowers at the Chateau de Chenonceaux, and was determined to see what all the fuss was about.

I was not disappointed. They know a lot about getting grand with flowers!

Chenonceaux itself is a truly stunning chateaux that spans the Cher river from bank to bank. The history of the place dates back to the 16th century, and each age brought its own highlights. From hunting lodge for Kings, to a hospital during the war; to safe passage out of occupied France during the second world war, it has seen some true adventures.

Today Chenonceaux welcomes visitors from around the world, and to make their visit even more enjoyable, the chateau employs its own team of florists. They are guided by award winning floral designer Jean Francois Boucher, and using mostly flowers from the chateau kitchen garden, they flower 19 rooms in the chateau every single week! An epic achievement.

The pictures here are some that I snapped as I walked around the chateau. Not knowing where to look first. The tapestries on the walls are simply gorgeous and every room has a story to tell.

I am very excited to say that since my visit, I have been able to arrange a masterclass with Jean Francois Boucher as part of our Loire tour later this summer. He’ll tell us all about the flowers they grow and the quantities of blooms required to keep the chateau looking so stunning.


Cheryl P June 7, 2023 - 7:27 pm

My husband and I visited this amazing chateau a few years ago. Not only gorgeous flowers, but loved seeing the old kitchen, copper pots galore!

Kameela June 8, 2023 - 2:24 am

The floral displays are stunning at Xmas

Laura Kuschel June 8, 2023 - 3:35 am

I visited this beautiful chateau in 1983 with my high school! This was my favorite chateau that we visited in the Loire Valley. Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience!!

Lynne June 8, 2023 - 12:13 am

Stunning and so beautiful! Thank you for posting these lovely photos! The Loire Valley is full of sweet memories!

Barbara Ondrisek June 8, 2023 - 2:46 am

I was there as a chaperone for a high school French class. We all fell in love with the chateau

Elizabeth June 8, 2023 - 2:52 am

Have been several times but have never seen the flowers. They are gorgeous!

Granger Carol June 8, 2023 - 2:54 am

When I visited Chenonceaux, I walked around with my mouth hanging open! The Chateau is my favorite in the Loire Valley with so much history in every room. The “icing on the cake” was the flowers which were the most stunning I have ever seen. My friends were a couple of rooms ahead of me and I’m still walking around looking at the florals! Thank you for sharing your visit to this beautiful, amazing Chateau and bringing back so many wonderful memories for me.

Pat B June 8, 2023 - 2:54 am

We visited in 2017 and not only loved the chateau and River Cher but all of the surrounding countryside — a magical experience for us! Beautiful pictures once again which certainly brought our memories alive. Thank you, Sharon.

Deborah Lindsay June 8, 2023 - 3:43 am

Oh my! Absolutely stunning!

Teresa Person June 8, 2023 - 4:02 am

Love the marble black and white floor.. the flowers are spectacular’

Marlene June 8, 2023 - 9:05 am

My husband an I visited the Chateau in 1990 on the day of our 3rd wedding anniversary. We were travelling Europe in an old Kombi van. The memory of the visit is still clear in my memory. Just stunning.

Cassie Keturakis June 8, 2023 - 5:01 pm

As usual your eye for all things beautiful is captured in these photos. Your tours always delight… this time with an expert on flower design! I’m sure there will be yummy food to accompany!

Frantisek June 8, 2023 - 8:49 pm

My jsme navštívili zámek před mnoha lety při cestě údolím Loiry a byl to nezapomenutelný zážitek.

Nadie June 11, 2023 - 11:04 pm

Your photos are beautiful, Sharon! You are so right about their flower arrangements. One of my favorites are the urns of fragrant hyacinths in early spring. They are stunning!

Inge from Bavaria June 12, 2023 - 6:37 pm

After we had visited Chenonceau this May we had a most delicious lunch at the “Auberge du bon Laboureur” just a few minutes walk from the parkinglot.
To the German-speaking blogreaders: I recommend Maria Dries’ detective novel “Der Kommissar und die Toten von der Loire”. I felt like being there again.

Lynn Davenport January 8, 2024 - 3:02 am

These pictures perfectly capture your eye for all things lovely, as usual doodle cricket. Your tours are usually enjoyable, and this one include a floral designer! There will undoubtedly be delicious cuisine to go with it!


Leave a Comment