When we had a client in July who only wanted to see gardens, we got in touch with some of the gardens to try to set up meetings with the gardeners. At Villandry they went one better for us, and Henri Carvallo, the owner, very kindly gave us half an hour of his time. He was lanky, diffident and clearly very conscious that it is the visitors that matter at Villandry.
The garden is now fully organic and employs 9 full time gardeners and some apprentices. Some of the plants, such as the step-over apples that 'fence' off the potager plots, are not grown on site, but supplied, already trained, by specialist nurseries in Germany. Monsieur Carvallo's attitude is that they can't be expert at everything at Villandry, and these types of plants are best produced by really skilled hands that do it every day. Other plants come from the big French nursery Delbard.
bursting out of the box hedges. I wonder if the colours are
significant, given the white stone fountains?
*Monsieur Carvallo referred to his 'grandparents' but many websites say 'great-parents'.