The Gardens

In a listed heritage site, the ornamental gardens of Villaines are situated to the north (bordered by a ha-ha) and to the south (confined by a moat) of the main buildings.

The more productive gardens boast an orchard to the east which separates the leisure gardens from the Villaines woods, and to the west a wonderful 2½-acre walled kitchen garden or potager .

Set in the heart of 500 acres of woods and meadows, Villaines is well protected from any noise or pollution. The river Préau flows through the meadow beyond the raised moat.

To the North

The ornamental gardens to the north are very open, in the classic French style, offering a view of the orangery and the greenhouse.

To the South

The raised moat is lined with large clipped yews. A few great trees, including one of the largest Pagoda trees (sophora japonica) in the Sarthe, surround the dovecote and provide a little shade for the sunny south face of the château. Beyond the moat a wide grassy avenue sweeps away to the south, continuing the axis of the long wooded drive to the north.

The potager

Restoration began in 1998 and still continues today. The potager at Villaines includes a fine array of peonies, espaliered pear trees and apple trees trained in cordons. An attractive collection of Old Climbing Roses trail across arches giving the garden height. In 2005 it was awarded best potager garden in France by the French Horticultural Society (Société Nationale d’Horticulture de France).

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