From Courson to Chantilly, the Plants festival is a feast

Built by Jardiland and designed by ZEA, this observation deck looked over thousand of camassias

Built by Jardiland and designed by ZEA, this observation deck looked over thousands of camassias and the Lake of Swans

The magic of Journée des Plantes de Chantilly has worked again this week end with lovely weather and Prince Amyn Aga Khan, in great form, during the three day event. He is more and more passionate about gardens. On Sunday, beloved French Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve, showed up « en famille ».

Patrice Fustier, Fabienne de Sèze and Cécile Lapoyade

Patrice Fustier, Fabienne de Sèze and Cécile Lapoyade organize the Journées des Plantes

This plant show, which is the French equivalent of the Chelsea flower show but more scientific,  attracts a very popular public as well, and received the official visit of the Friends of Kew gardens, who were marveling at the quality of exhibitors. The variety of plants with great old roses, many rare species produced by tiny nurseries, culinary herbs, lovely books published by Ulmer and old garden tools, make for a fantastic show.

A green house presented by Roberto Giobergia with white and blue campaniles

A green house presented by Roberto Giobergia with white and blue bell flowers

Since I am not a dendrologist nor a green finger myself, I was impressed by the furniture and by the wooden house built by Jardiland on a little island in the English garden, surrounded by sheep. From there you had the best view over the castle of Chantilly,  built by Prince de Condé, the temple of Venus and the lawns planted with thousands of camassias that you crossed on a wooden causeway.

A fireplace a bench or a fountain cut out in stone by Christian Gesland can be found for 400€ to 4 000€

A fireplace, a bench or a fountain cut out in stone by Christian Gesland can be found for 400€ to 4 000€

Dinner on Thursday night in honor of the members of the jury (which come twice a year from Great Britain, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal and France), took place in the castle, in the recently restored Galerie des Peintures. Having dinner in front of five Poussin, a Raphaël, a Corot, a Largillière, is always a great kick…

Dinner inside Galerie des Peintures was an incredible treat

Dinner inside Galerie des Peintures was an incredible treat

It was the last great dinner in Chantilly by 2 star Michelin chef, Arnaud Faye, who prepared sea bass and raviolis for 80 privileged guests. He is unfortunately leaving Auberge du Jeu de Paume in July for Eze in the South of France.

The day before, everyone gets ready

The day before, everyone gets ready

Patrice and Hélène Fustier, who created this plant festival at Château de Courson thirty years ago, were beaming with joy at what the Aga Khan’s team was able to produce. And Nicole Garnier, the head curator was enjoying the gardeners’ company.

The 250 exhibitors were incredibly happy with the turn out of 20 000 visitors who had come for the scenery as well as for the discovery of new rare plants. Three young nurseries were represented among the stars, Tillandsia Prod, who specializes in rootless plants, Jardin du Beau Pays, from the French Flanders, who also has a remarkable garden near Calais, and Aurélie and Maxime van de Sande from Brittany who create plants for the shade, at Vert’tige.

Gardner Louis Benech presented his new bench Nara by Royal Botania

Gardner Louis Benech presented his comfortable and well designed new bench “Nara” by Royal Botania

It is wonderful to see that young garden lovers are passionate about growing and inventing new flowers. Roy Lancaster was there as usual and so was gardner Louis Benech who designed a new bench for the Belgian Royal Botania. I bought perfumed geraniums for my bathroom and wish I could send you the smell on this blog!
(Next Journées des Plantes are October 14-16)

Blanche Aloisi de Crépy and Arnaud Brunel sitting on the new Madeleine Castaing benches by Tectona

Blanche Aloisi de Crépy and Arnaud Brunel sitting on the new Madeleine Castaing benches by Tectona

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4 Comments on “From Courson to Chantilly, the Plants festival is a feast”

  1. Patrice Fustier

    Merci chère Laure de tes merveilleux commentaires
    C’était une belle fête et nous étions vraiment “beaming” pendant ces trois jours…….jusqu’à un délicieux et si amical dîner dimanche
    Love

  2. Susan J. Hewitt

    How lovely, Laure! Just reading your account made me relaxed and happy, like being in a fine garden. I send you my very best wishes from Nevis.

  3. Dany Sautot

    Bravo Laure pour avoir su si bien retranscrire et transmettre la beauté de ces trois Journées des Plantes de Chantilly. Il ne manque plus que le son !
    Dany

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