In Chantilly, the Journées des Plantes is again a delight

parisdiaflowers and gardens4 Comments

Grand Prix du Domaine de Chantilly, the peony developed by Damien Devos

Twice a year in May and October, Château de Chantilly celebrates new plants and International nurseries. An dualist week, Prince AmYn Aga Khan and Hélène Fustier were running around the park in their electric cart congratulating the prize winners of the season. Among whom, Belgian grower Damien Devos, won with a beautiful dark red peony and was exhibiting delightful calycanthus Aphrodite, and another Belgian, Pépinières Choteau, who specializes in Japanese maples Acer palmatum, were showing their “Ukigumo”, a ravishing tree with gray leaves.

Chantilly’s beautiful light last fall

May is generally less crowded because “real gardners” know as not to plant anything in the Spring but wait for October to enable their trees to acclimate in the fall. But the weather was beautiful all week end and enthusiastic plant growers were as cheerful as ever. I spoke with the lady from “Les Jardins d’écoute s’il pleut”, who for the firs time in three years had not won a prize, and showed me the “hypolepis rugosula”, a ravishing fern with lace like triangular leaves.

Hypolepis rugosula from “Les Jardins d’écoute s’il pleut”

The name of this nursery, “The gardens of listen if it rains” tells it all! They are located an hour west of Poitiers in Vendée. All rhododendrons were in perfect bloom at Pépinières Kerfandol from Brittany, and of course roses were well represented at roses André Eve and roses Loubet. It was easy to find the “Sans souci” (no worry) choices on every stand to concentrate on easy gardening.

The sad news was to see Roy Lancaster give his last conference before retiring from the jury after thirty years!  but Jim Gardiner, a magnolia expert and Royal horticultural society former Vice President, is taking over and tv personality Stéphane Marie gave a conference on his book “Des bouquets toute l’année” published by E/P/A with Stéphane Pennetier and Dany Sautot.

Calycanthus “Aphrodite”

Once again, Parc de Chantilly was the seat of a reunion of garden lovers and everyone left with a few plants in the back of their car.  The next edition is on October 18-20.

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4 Comments on “In Chantilly, the Journées des Plantes is again a delight”

  1. Notre cher ami Patrice Fustier aurait mis un commentaire enthousiaste sur ton blog chère Laure pour ce compte rendu parfait de ces journées des plantes !

  2. Ah, just to look at these photos makes me more relaxed. Thanks Laure.

    Even though I mostly concentrate on photographing wild things for iNaturalist, I do also photograph some garden plants when I want to know more about them. My garden outside our building here in NYC is doing exceptionally well this year; more flowers than ever before.

  3. Merci Laure! Je m’y crois ! Ta fidélité a tout ce qui touche Chantilly est formidable. Le calycanthus fut une merveilleuse decouverte il y a 2 ans et j’en ai planté chez moi! Kiss de Londres et du Chelsea Flower show! Candelita

  4. Peony are a favorite around the world, it and the Lotus blooms seem to predominate Chinese painting. We had a great bloom of peonies this spring in the Midwest but unfortunately our weather turned sour and many are now just lying on the ground even those stakes were damaged by torrents of rain and wind. Love the darker peonies and this new one is a beauty, hopefully it will be in our nurseries soon.

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