Virtual tour of the gardens

The Sun Garden

The Sun Garden is the most recent creation at Villandry, dating from 2008. It is divided into three parts: the Sun Chamber, the Cloud Chamber and the Children’s Chamber. The design of this modern creation takes contemporary issues into account, such as the environment and biodiversity.

Le jardin du Soleil et sa fontaine centrale

The Sun Garden: a spontaneous contemporary creation

The Sun Garden, along with the Water Garden, occupies the highest terrace in the garden, which leads to the second floor of the château. It was not until 2008 that this garden, designed by Joachim Carvallo as part of his basic plan, finally materialised. The challenge was to successfully maintain the unity of the whole garden, despite a style that differed from previous designs – neither mediaeval, nor renaissance, nor French.

For this garden, Henri Carvallo called on Louis Benech, one of France’s leading landscape architects, who designed the triangle garden and selected the collection of perennials. . Alix de Saint Venant, landscape architect and owner of the Château de Valmer, designed the general structure of the garden. Arnaud de Saint Jouan, Chief Architect of Historic Monuments, designed the pond in the shape of a sun, the central point of the garden. Meanwhile, the team of gardeners at the Château de Villandry put the entire plan into practice. The work began in winter 2006/2007. The inauguration took place on 20 June 2008.

Since then, visitors have strolled along the avenues of this naturalistic or spontaneous garden, which, like the other gardens at Villandry, is part of a green cloister divided into three chambers that form a coherent whole:

  • The Children’s Chamber, where there are outdoor games and decorative apple trees,
  • The Sun Chamber, the central part of the garden, with a sun-shaped ornamental pond, the eight-pointed star designed by Joachim Carvallo, and beds of perennials,
  • The Cloud Chamber, where small grassy paths form triangles that weave among roses, shrubs and perennials.

A celestial stroll

Although each with its own identity, when viewed from the sky the three chambers, form a carpet of plants based on Renaissance mosaics. The chambers are seamlessly linked by the theme of the sky. The colour palette, which is a combination of fiery sunshine shades and hazy cool colours, evokes the contrast on which the Ornamental Garden itself is built, divided into two salons, the first with the glowing colours of love, the second with the calming colours of the evening concerto.

The fountain of the sun is the centrepiece of the ensemble. Its design is directly inspired by Joachim Carvallo’s plans. Pathways radiate out from this sun-shaped pond, evoking the fiery rays. The planting oscillates between yellow and orange. Fire is the dominant element, but it is not a destructive fire; here, fire brings the creation to life. Moving away from the sun, we enter the Cloud Chamber. Here, everything is light and ethereal. The undulating avenues forms clouds, with the volume created by frothy plants ranging from white to blue.

An explosion of biodiversity

The Sun Garden is an explosion of biodiversity, planted with perennials selected for their ability to attract a host of insects. The so-called melliferous or nectar-rich plants provide an ideal habitat for bees, butterflies, ladybirds, and more. There is also abundant life within the soil. This little living world also bring in many birds, offering them a source of food.

Did you know that the gardens of Villandry were the first historic gardens to be awarded the LPO (League for the Protection of Birds) certification?

Botanical composition of the Sun Garden