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La Ballue gardens

Welcome to the Gardens

A few kilometers from Mont-Saint-Michel, an enchanting universe filled with unexpected surprises.
 
As you arrive you will discover the rolling, verdant landscape bathed in the light so characteristic of Brittany, which has inspired many painters, notably the Impressionists.
 
This jewel of a 17th century château, bordered by a lush, sweeping valley has since the 19th century been linked to French literature, but it has also been depicted in many paintings and drawings. Its unique gardens have been redesigned and re-interpreted with taste and intelligence, and have once again taken on some of their original 17th century forms, a succession of sculpted shadows and light.
 
At the beginning there is a geometrical, terraced garden, with its sharp triangles, its shaped yews and privet hedges, then a long tunnel of black yew and diaphanous wisteria leads to the second garden, which is like an initiatory journey in which the visitor is constantly moving between light and shadow, from intrigue to serenity, from laughter to daydreaming ...

Practical Information

  • Garden opening: Everyday from March 1st to November 15th from 10:00 am to 06:30 pm. The rest of the year, tours are available on request by calling +33 (0)2 99 97 47 86.
Welcome and tour brochure in English, French and German.
Duration of the free visit: between 1:00 and 1:30 (tour brochure, map and botanical index).
  • Rates: Adult € 9.50 - € 7.50 for 10-18 years and students. Free for children under 10 accompanied by their parents.
  • Adult group: € 7.50  for groups from 15 people.
  • School groups and children: preferential rates - contact us. All groups are personally greeted by the owners and a presentation of the history of the site and gardens is given (duration 15 min at reception).
Reception of groups is preferably by appointment.
Guided tour of the gardens possible by owner (1:30): € 80 in addition to the entrance.
  • Annual season ticket to the gardens: € 26
More information on the website dedicated to Gardens by clicking here.

History

"Redesigned and replanted, this garden offers the visitors a pleasing impression of harmony and poetry, the result of an exceptional research process and an elegance of execution, change, surprise, wonder, refinement, emotion, fun, freedom, distinguished futility and a slightly academic sensuality – all of which can be attributed to enthusiasts of the 17th century. There is even a discreet, refined eroticisation of nature in these gardens."

Map of the gardens

1
A sculpture in the trees of the Chateau de La Ballue's gardens

The "green room" with a view

After passing under an arch of white wisteria and laburnum, take a long look at the glorious countryside of the Couesnon Valley through the "window" cut into the bower itself. The name of this grove was part of a tradition of literary word games played in the 17th century. Sculpture by M. Salavize
2
Ferns in the Chateau de La Ballue's gardens

The fern grove

Deciduous and evergreen ferns thrive in the shadow of the Magnolia Grandiflora. This grove reminds us that the Domaine of  la Ballue, situated in fern country, attracted many master glassmakers (who use ferns in their work), and in the 19th century a royal glass factory was erected here.
3
Clematites in the Chateau de La Ballue's gardens

The trick thicket

A "surprise" thicket, conceived along 17th century lines. Sculpture by M. Salavize.
4
Topikary art in the Chateau de La Ballue's Garden

The undulating garden

A superb chessboard of topiary in box tree and holly, laid out on a luminous carpet of alchemilla mollis. Between 4 and 5: " the Bird Group," a remarkable ensemble of figurative box tree topiary in recognisable shapes.
5
Grove and fountain in Chateau de La Ballue's gardens

The scented grove

A trefoiled green chamber with a central basin, with sweet-smelling and other varieties of scented plants.
6
The Gardens of La Ballue, a peaceful place

The "knee joint"

The place in the garden which brings together the two broken diagonals, an exquisite play of light and shadow.
7
A tree lined pathway in the gardens of the Chateau de La ballue

The mysterious arbour

A tunnel of greenery between the columns of cypress trunks, with characteristic shadowplay on the ground.
8
Topiary art on the hedges of the Chateau de La Ballue's gardens

The Green theatre

A magnificent space set in a semi-circle, open to the sky and equipped to function as a real theatre, made entirely of greenery.
9
Diane's temple in the Chateau de La Ballue's gardens

The temple of Diana

A temple of greenery after a model by Nicolas Ledoux, with a sumptuous double perspective on the baroque garden on the diagonal.
10
A peaceful garden at the Chateau de La Ballue

The Lime Alley

A 70 meter long alley with handsome lime trees cut in the marquise shape. With excellent views of the Couesnon Valley.
11
Topiary art in the gardens of the Chateau de La Ballue

The Music Grove

A musical thicket. In this round green chamber of Cupressocyparis leylandii, you can hear the singing of the birds, the wind whispering in the trees and the continuous music of nature.
12
The Gardens of La Ballue's labyrinth

The Labyrinth

A real maze inspired by a drawing by Le Corbusier: a secret space to explore inside the garden. Its complexity is at odds with the ordered logic of the rest of the garden -- and our global perception of the world.
13
Topiary art in the Gardens of La Ballue, an ever changing spectacle

The Wisteria Alley

A delightful wisteria walk, a double alignment of columns of yews and 22’ of heavenly scented wisteria to experience while walking as slowly as you dare.
14
View over the french coutryside from the Chateau de La Ballue's gardens

The "regular" garden of F. Hébert Stevens

This garden is in perfect harmony with the style of this 17th century château. A gorgeous geometric landscape of lines, triangles and hexagons, it is meant to be seen from the château itself. It is a kind of parterre extending into the beautiful grounds of the Château.
15
Sculpted bushes and hedges in the Chateau de La Ballue's gardens

Venus' Door

A monumental topiary garden which straddles the regular garden moat.
16
Flowers and ferns in the Chateau de La Ballue's moat garden

The Moat Garden

Located in the western moat of the château, this new garden offers further exploration of the plantings of boxwood, the lake and the nursery.
17
Ballad in the Gardens of la Ballue

The Castle Courtyard

A gorgeous flowering garden highlighting the north façade of the château, bordered by three towering lime trees over 250 years old. It also features trees planted in boxes from the Orangerie at Versailles.
18

The Tea room and Boutique

A lovely tea room, a place to relax and reflect, and an attractive souvenir shop featuring books on gardens and gardening, scented candles and a selection of regional products.