Gardens of La Ballue
Those remarkable gardens are ruled by topiary art. You’ll benefit of an exceptional overview on the Vallée du Couesnon. Dive into this green theater with the maze and the mysterious alleys…
The remarkable “Jardins de la Ballue” are recognized among the most beautiful of France. They have obtained the 2nd European Price 2017-2018 of EGHN (European Garden Heritage Network).
Rare testimony of the history of the 20th century gardens’ art, the Gardens de la Ballue are ruled by the precise rules of the topiary art, who model flowerbeds and shrub sculptures.
Conceived for eye and ear, the labyrinth of mysterious paths never offers an overview. Recreated in the spirit of the 17th century by the architect Paul Maymont, the baroque garden reserves you 13 surprises. A large arcade of wisterias leaning against columns of yew separates him from the regular garden designed by the architect François-Herbert Stevens. Contemporary sculptures also come to decorate the course. You can also stroll into the ancient moats, with its natural ponds and collections of ornamental animals and botanical box trees recognized as CCVS (Conservation area of Specialised Vegetal Collection).
The outside of the castle has been constructed in a classic style in the 17th century by Gilles Ruellan, State Councellor and friend of the King Henri IV. Registered to “Monuments Historiques”, the chateau is famous thanks to the personalities who have stayed there : Balzac, Victor Hugo, Musset et Châteaubriand. Renovated at the end of the 20th century in the respect of its authenticity, it welcome now upscale guestrooms. From April to September, a cultural programming will seduce people who are passionated by gardens and music.
The discovery of all the gardens takes around one hour and one hour and a half. Guided leaflet are at your disposal in french, english, german and spanish.
A small catering is offered for lunch, in addition to the tea room, pastries and bar open all day : on-the-sport or takeway is possible (Only takeway for the moment due to the sanitary crisis). Three quiet picnic tables are at your disposal on the wooded paths at the entry of the car park.
The book shop of Jocelyne is also a new service. These passionate bookseller selects a choice of ancient and second-hand books, to buy or consult on-the-spot.
Adult : 9,50 €
Students and 10-18 years : 7,50 €
Free for less than 10 years old.
Annual subscription card to gardens : 30 €
Group (from 15 persons) : 7.50€ by person (preferential rates for school’s visit on demand)
All groups are welcomed personnally by the owners.
A presentation of the history of the site and the gardens is proposed (duration : 15 min)
A guided tour of the gardens lead by the owner is possible (duration : 1h30) : 80€ in addition to the entrance fee.
Open from the 15th March to the 30 April and from the 1st October to the 11th November, every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 10.00AM to 6.30PM.
Open daily from the 1st May to 31 September, and during the Toussaint and Easter holidays, from 10.00AM to 6.30PM.
Out of period, visits are possible on demand after phone contact.
Sanitary crisis : The credit card is preferable for the entry fee – The visit of the chateau is not possible for the moment and the tea room is closed – Groups are limited to 6 people (contact the owner for groups superior to 6 people).
Why not have a break at the tearoom located at the entrance of the gardens ? You can sample pastries cooked by the owners of the chateau. You will also find there a shop with a great selection of specialised books (new or secondhand).
New in 2020 : home-cooked snacking for lunch time at the tea-room.