Diane de Poitier’s Garden’s Garden is in the Château de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley, France. The castle, built on the River Cher in the 16th century by Thomas Bohier, General of Finances to the King of France, Francois I. Thomas married Katherine Briconnet (1494-1526), who was the “true” developer of the castle and its original garden.
When Henri II (1519-1559) was King of France from 1547 to his death in 1559, he donated the Château de Chenonceau to Diane de Poitiers (1499-1566), his favourite lady. She created several gardens in the castle grounds. One of them is still there, re-created with the flowers that she once chose for the site.
The layout of the garden has remained unchanged since Diane de Poitiers created it in 1547. The garden’s actual designer was Achille Duchene (1866-1947).
There are two perpendicular and two diagonal paths form borders around eight large triangular lawns decorated with scrolls of santolina plants (dense evergreen shrubs with yellow flowers). The water feature has been re-created from the original.
The raised terraces protect the garden from overflows from the River Cher. The terrace walls are covered with “Iceberg” climbing roses. The terraces are decorated with urns, yew trees, spindle trees, and box hedges.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls