Another magical “Journée des Plantes” at Chantilly

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Thierry Ryctel, Hydrangea King at Pépinières de la Thyle

Thierry de Ryckel, Hydrangea King at Pépinières de la Thyle

It was once again a fascinating day at Chantilly’s Journée des Plantes where garden magicians brought in new species and colorful autumn trees. Roy Lancaster, the famous British botanist, who is a member of the Jury, was once more amazed by the creativity of French, Belgian and British nurseries and three Prizes went to the « Jardins d’Ecoute s’il pleut », a nursery from Vendée, which specialises in rustic ferns.

The English garden of Château the Chantilly

The English garden of Château de Chantilly

Château de Chantilly looked at its best in the golden autumn sun and all the staff under the leadership of Charles-Henri Diriart, was charming and smiling at the beauty of the flowers and trees that  200 exhibitors had brought from afar. Many new nurseries were invited and a few children activities (bouquet making, pumpkin carving, tree spotting, wicker basket making, and rabbit farming…) brought a breath of fresh air to this thirty year old « Journée des Plantes » started by Patrice and Hélène Fustier at château de Courson. 

Anne Marie Gaillard a passionate fern discoverer and grower

Anne Marie Gaillard a passionate fern discoverer and grower with husband Pierre Jean

When you first arrive, there are so many beauties that  you don’t know where to start looking. But little by little, magic operates : the large Hydrangea stand by  Pépinières de la Thyle attracted lines of buyers and Thierry de Ryckel, its owner, could not stop describing the three colors in one flower of the Paniculate, nor the beauty of some species even after they have died. His Belgian accent added to the charm of the story telling.

The inning fern was collected in Cornwall and developed in Vendée by Jardins d'Ecoute s'il pleut

The winning fern was collected in Cornwall and developed in Vendée by Jardins d’Ecoute s’il pleut

Many fashion shops came this time, including Barbour of course, Dubarry of Ireland with its fabulous boots and tweeds and Clippertown who have developed a new gortex based linen, perfect for heavy rains and hats by « Donne moi la lune » (Give me the moon) were very tempting.

Aert-Fil baskets in iron threads

Aert-Fil baskets in iron threads

Another poetic stand was one of iron thread baskets, Aert-Fil, made individually by the same family for three generations in Ile et Vilaine, in Brittany again. Perfect for eggs, vegetable or poultry they were used when I was a little girl in our farm near le Mans, and they are popular again .

Philippe Lecoufle and his wonderful collections of Orchids and cattleyas

Philippe Lecoufle and his wonderful collections of Orchids and cattleyas

What is wonderful about these « Journees des plantes » is that each individual grower is completely dedicated and loves taking the time to tell you how they invent and develop their plants. Conferences took place in the castle with book signing by Alexandre de Vogue speaking about Vaux le Vicomte and its magical garden architecture by le Nôtre, Pierre Alexandre kisser who published a book with Edition sUlmer on gardens to live in , and medicinal gardens by Virginie Peytavi.  Natural bouquets on the stand of  « Vivaces et compagnie », and the natural charm of Chantilly’s park with its black sheep were an unbeatable moment of poetry and happiness.

Patrice and Hélène Fustier who founded Journées des Plantes

Patrice and Hélène Fustier who founded Journées des Plantes

And of course, we all left carrying rhododendrons and heather from Pépinières de Kerfandol ! Next Journée des Plantes is on 19-21 May 2017.

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One Comment on “Another magical “Journée des Plantes” at Chantilly”

  1. Ah, I am swept away Laure… How lovely. 🙂

    I always do a little city gardening, taking care of the plantings/ garden outside our building here on the Upper East Side. Now, over the next few weeks, I am attempting to rescue some — the most extremely neglected — of the tree pits on our block. Will I be able to turn these tiny plots of hard clay into little gardens by next spring? I can try anyway… 🙂

    The real challengeswill be trying to persuade the Supers of the various buildings to water them as needed, and trying to communicate, to everyone who passes by, not to treat these small expanses of earth as an extension of the concrete sidewalk!

    love,

    Susan

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