In June this year I visited the garden at Chartreuse du Colombier, Paunat, Dordogne with my gardening club.
This privately owned garden surrounds an old monastery built originally in the 17th and 18th centuries, and has been open to the public since the spring of 2014. It has the label of ‘Jardin Remarquable’ awarded by the ministry of culture in February 2015.
This is a very attractive, romantic garden with some formal layouts but I came away from it with a memory of billowing plants within a structure rather than an overly formal garden.
The garden consists of the following elements:
the long walk and music pavilion
the dovecote enclosure
the vegetable garden (potager)
the entrance and stable courtyards
The long walk and music pavilion form the largest part of the garden, and include box parterres with forms of birds inspired by Magritte, Braque and Matisse, ‘erables de Montpellier (Acer monspessulanum), oaks and ashes, medlars, bulbs including narcissus, tulips and cardoons. Around the pavilion there are collections of Bourbon and Gallica roses.
The dovecote enclosure includes clipped yew (Taxus baccata), a collection of peonies, topiaries of Portuguese laurel, Osmanthus burkwoodii, figs, hollyhocks, cistus, hemerocallis, and eremurus, as well as more roses.
The large vegetable garden includes a baroque fountain, espaliered fruit trees and square beds of ,vegetables, as well as the roses Jacqueline du Pre, Souvenir du Docteur Jamain, Indian Blush, Blush noisette ballerina. There are more yew topiaries, hollyhocks, rhubarb and artichokes, further roses, and statues of spring and summer dating from 1820.
The entrance and stable courtyards adjacent to the chartreuse include a parterre with espaliered apples, camellias, beech hedges and more roses including Marechal Niel and Madame Herbert Stevens.
If you are in the area, I would thoroughly recommend a visit to this garden which is close to Limeuil and Tremolat, and open between mid April and the beginning of October from Wednesday to Sunday.