Park and gardens: a remarkable place

Château de Bouges

The château of Bouges is often described as being encased in greenery. This green “case” is largely due to the landscape architects Henri and Achille Duchêne (late 19th - early 20th century). The park and gardens which existed when the château was built were altered and restored to suit Mrs Viguier’s new tastes at the time. She gave them her personal touch when she arrived and introduced a flower garden.

The project Achille Duchêne presented to the Dufour family, the last but one owners, still gives a good impression of the château’s surroundings today.

To the east of the château, the ride extends for 2 km. The trees lining it were planted in the late 18th century. Unfortunately, some of them were damaged by the severe storms of 1999.

Below the château on the southern side are the service quarters and their courtyard planted with a lawn and yew trees.

To the west of the château a long lawn extends to the point where the former entrance to the estate was located. The pool is designed to resemble a mirror in which the château is reflected at sunset.

To the north, the combination of formal flower beds and the park laid out in the English style vividly recalls the style initiated by Mr Duchêne and his son. The park today covers nearly 80 hectares.

The park, which was originally left in its natural state, was restructured and laid out to give it perspective. The lawns around the pool and the fields give it a sense of space. The undergrowth along its boundaries marks its limits.

The park contains quantities of trees of various species, including liquidambars, sophoras, ginkgo bilobas, Virginian tulip trees, copper beeches and a wide variety of conifers.

The pool is designed to resemble a mirror and birds rest beside it in spring. The fall colors are sublime.

Mrs Viguier adored flowers and decided to move the kitchen garden and replace it with a flower garden to provide flowers for the château, which it still does.

The flower garden retains the structure of the former kitchen garden. The pathways and various square beds are edged with box.

A round pond marks the intersection of the flower garden’s two principal pathways.

The garden changes according to the season throughout the year. The flowers are at their best from mid-July to mid-August. The dahlias and the formal flower beds are colorful until October.

At the entrance to the garden are the greenhouses which were restored in 2013.

The big greenhouse contains exotic plants (banana palm, orchids, strelizia (bird of paradise flower) and others) which bloom beside less unusual plants (bougainvillea, begonias, etc.).

Following Mrs Viguier’s tradition and to give the château a lived-in look, what could be better than a beautiful bouquet? Members of the estate’s staff create them every week.

Château of Bouges
Credits: Story

This virtual exhibition has been put together by teams from the Centre des monuments nationaux, with the help of teams from the Château de Bouges, the support of teams from the images unit and coordination by the digital unit.

The images were taken from Regards - Banque d’images des monuments © Centre des monuments nationaux.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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