Visit The Le Bouquet garden
The Le-Bouquet garden is set in a large park around the Chateau du Bouquet. Originally the property was a vineyard and then later a cereal farm but it has now been turned into a large garden open to visitors.
The garden is on the edge of Sorges to the north of Perigueux.
Explore the Le-Bouquet garden
The Le Bouquet garden is a sort of modern take on the French Formal style which uses lots of clipped hedge parterres and topiary trees. Here rather than one large garden there is a two kilometer walk which weaves around fifty different patterns that have been created using clipped hedges, some trees and a narrow pattern of herbaceous plants to add colour to some of the motifs.
Each design has been precisely planned and there is a sign next to each one showing the pattern plan and the precise plants used to create them. Most use three different varieties of box hedging with other hedge varieties, trees or flowers added.
The walk begins in the woodland where smaller designs have been created in clearings throughout the woods. As the walk enters the open parkland the designs become larger and more complex.
The chateau provides a backdrop to the parterres and the park opens out providing a sweeping vista with the parterres and motifs all around. From creation to completion took eight years and the garden really is quite unique.
Where flowers have been incorporated into the designs these are ususally blue or white flowered and include perovskia (Russian Sage), gaura and lavender. A larger burst of colour is created with a rose garden incorporating 1280 roses and there is also a design that is picked out entirely in flowering plants such as geraniums and erigeron. This one is called the 'Mer de Fleurs' or 'Sea of Flowers' and is made up of 1700 plants of 19 distinct species.
A small pond and a design using flowering shrubs complete the circuit. Along its two kilometer length there are a number of benches where you can sit and appreciate the patterns (and the work that must go into maintaining the designs in such precise shapes).
The Le Bouquet garden is open every day from the 1st May to the 31st October from 09.30 to 12.30 and 14.30 to 18.30. The address is: Les Jardins du Bouquet, RN21 Sortie Nord de Sorges, 24420 Sorges. Prices are 7 euros for adults and 3 euros for children over 10.
There is a large car park and a small shop at the garden.
Where to visit nearby?
The Jardins du Bouquet are on the edge of the village of Sorges. Sorges is the capital of the truffle market in the Dordogne and has an ecomuseum dedicated to its culture and history. There is also an auberge with a truffle-based menu if you would like to sample the local truffles.
Perigueux is the main town in the Dordogne and has a beautiful medieval old town as well as quite a lot of Roman ruins and a Roman museum created on the site of an old Gallo-Roman villa.
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.