Virtual tour of the gardens

The Herb Garden

Between the Kitchen Garden and the church is the Herb Garden. Designed by Joachim Carvallo, it found its definitive form in the 1970s when Robert and Marguerite Carvallo, Joachim’s grandson and his wife, ran Villandry. It is a mediaeval-style garden planted with aromatic and medicinal plants and flowers.

The Herb Garden runs along the Vegetable Garden. The central aisle meets 3 aisles. The intersections form plant crossroads.

We find the topiary pruned in the "Villandry" shape in the Jardin des Simples.

The vegetation in the Herb Garden is inspired by the Middle Ages: lavender, rosemary, etc.

The simplicity of this garden gives it all its poetry.

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The aromatic and medicinal Herb Garden

Joachim Carvallo was particularly fond of mediaeval gardens, which he praised for their simplicity, expressiveness and spirituality. According to him, “the art of the gardener has never gone further […] [Le jardin médiéval][The mediaeval garden] [has] given us the best example of what the mind can do when it strives to enhance the simplest and most necessary things in life.” Villandry could not be without a mediaeval garden, represented by the Herb Garden and the Maze.

The Herb Garden owes its name to the aromatic and medicinal plants that make up its beds. It overlooks the Kitchen Garden. These two gardens are linked, as the herbs from the Herb Garden are used to flavour dishes prepared using the vegetables from the Kitchen Garden: a true marriage of flavours.
The Herb Garden is a long cloister bordered with trees on one side and a vine-covered pergola on the other, which form walls of vegetation. The plants are placed in circular beds, symbolising eternity, while avenues, which intersect at right angles, form crosses. Flowerbeds also contain around thirty plant varieties.

This understated and discreet garden invites you to enjoy a meditative stroll, transported by the scents that emanate from the beds. Smell is a sense that was used a great deal in the Middle Ages because, by awakening our consciousness and memory, it elevates the mind to a higher spiritual dimension.

The Herb Garden: a legacy

Joachim Carvallo was unable to complete the Herb Garden during his lifetime. It was finalised in the 1970s by Robert Carvallo, Joachim’s grandson, and his wife, based on his grandfather’s design. Robert Carvallo, the custodian of his grandfather’s work, brought his own perspective to the gardens of Villandry. “The garden, a unique and admirable thing, obliges its owner to cultivate the qualities of imagination and patience and the virtues of love, having deposited them in himself, so to speak, and having transformed his soul into a real garden that its very carefully maintained and very well kept…”

Botanical composition of the Herb Garden

Aromatic and medicinal plants

In the largest circular bed, planted in two concentric circles:

  • Perennial celery
  • Purple sorrel
  • Spring onion
  • Purple common comfrey
  • German garlic
  • Lemon balm
  • Horsetail
  • Achillea
  • Mexican agastache
  • Wild horseradish
  • Lemon verbena
  • Hyssop (officinalis)
  • Pulmonaria officinalis
  • Echinacea
  • Artemisia
  • Rhubarb

In the central bed, an assortment of mints:

  • Bergamot mint
  • Moroccan mint
  • Variegated mint
  • Peppermint
  • Buddleia mint
  • Orange peppermint
  • Apple mint
  • Chocolate mint

In the smallest of the three beds:

  • Coriander/Parsley
  • Santolina
  • Camomile
  • Oregano
  • Fennel
  • Rosemary
  • Common thyme
  • Tarragon

Flowers

Roses: pink double “Honoré de Balzac” tree rose, white “Cosmos”, orange “Abbaye de Cluny”, red “Victor Hugo”

Spring planting:

  • Pink myosotis
  • White narcissi
  • Mariette “pink” Tulip

Summer planting:

  • Purple-leaf big rose begonia
  • Deep pink achyranthe

Assortment of perennials for a long flowering season

  • Tradescantia x andersionana
  • Molinia caerulea variegata
  • Brunnera macrophyla ‘jack frost’
  • Gaura ‘sunset dream’ rose
  • Hosta ‘minuteman’
  • Salvia nemerosa ‘new dimension’
  • Salvia patens
  • Nepeta racemosa
  • Veronique spicata ‘erika’ rose
  • Aster ‘ lady in blue’
Le jardin des Simples en Été