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The Gardens of Villandry – part 1

April 29th, 2019

After touring the chateau at Villandry, we headed out the back to see the gardens from the walkway above. This tree lines walkway provides a nice view of the ornamental salons. These views from above are one of the best ways to appreciate these intricate gardens, the details aren’t as noticeable when you’re walking amoung the gardens. The tulips were just starting to show some color, so the garden wasn’t quite as colorful as it will be the rest of summer, but it was still oustanding.











Gardens like this are so difficult to capture in photos (as are many things). There’s so much detail in every direction that the camera simply can’t do it justice. Stay tuned, I’ll be possting more photos of the other parts of this garden in the next few days.

Villandry Chateau

April 25th, 2019

After an oustanding dinner and a good night of sleep, we were up the next morning to tour the Chateau and gardens of Villandry. Originally I wasn’t going to tour the chateau, but the tickets included with our hotel package included the tour of the interior. I’m certainly glad that it did, the views of the garden through the windows and from the top of the tower were outstanding, well worth the extra few Euros to go inside.


















Check back tomorrow and next week for more photos of this lovely garden. We knew we wanted to visit this garden when we first planned our trip, but were debating if it was worth 2 hour drive from Paris. After visiting, we decided it was well worth it and we will definitely do it again if we are ever in France in the future.

The Town of Villandry

April 23rd, 2019

Back to our regularly scheduled posts from our trip to France earlier in the month. After we left Versailles, we drove to Villandry. After much on-line seraching, I had booked a room at Le Haut Des Lys that came with tickets to the Chateau of Villandry (more photos of the garden tomorrow). It ended up being the perfect choice. The room was fantastic, the hotel quiet, and there were lovely gardens. Since we arrived in mid afternoon, we walked around the garden after we got settled in our room.










After walking around the garden, we walked into town (the hotel was only a block away from town) where we peeked over the walls of the chateau to see the gardens.





After enjoying a lovely sunset, we headed down to L’Etape Gourmande for dinner and enjoyed a wonderful meal, complete with foie gras. We were lucky that our hotel got us a reservation for that evening as we had wanted to eat there but had heard reservations needed to be made months in advance (probably being there before the busy season helped).

How do you go about finding hotels and restaurants when you are traveling?

So Long Terrible T

April 22nd, 2019

She was called Sweet T and Terrible T, and was a gentle giant, but a little neurotic too. She wouldn’t hesitate to kill a coyote, raccoon, skunk, or fox, but was gentle with the ducklings (her favorites). We loved her independent spirit (though not all the time). On our way home from the emergency vet Friday night, Mr Chiots said “I can just see your mom, in her bathrobe, greeting T and feeding her milk bones from her pocket.” My mom loved this dog, as did everyone that met her. She will leave a giant Anatolian shaped hole in our hearts and on our farm. We are thankful she went out in her prime while still working and doing what she loved and we didn’t have to watch her fade to a shadow of herself. She lived a good, long life. It’s so difficult to lose pets, but they are such wonderful companions while they are with us.









They weren’t 100% what happened, but the best guess is hemangiosarcoma. While tragic for her to go so quickly, in the end we realized it’s a blessing that she was playing one and gone the next. She would not have tolerated treatment or a long illness. So long Tara…

Monet’s Giverny

April 11th, 2019

Our first evening in France found us at Monet’s Giverny garden. We stopped by late, which ended up being perfect because all the tour buses were just leaving. It was early spring, so the gardens were filled with the flowering bulbs, tulips, daffodils,
hyacinths, and more. The primroses were blooming here, as well as everywhere else in France. You could just see the peonies starting to unfurl their red leaves, promising a stunning display in a few months. We made our way across the street to look at the pond. We have a puzzle of one of his painting of the pond with the bridge which we put together every few years. As we walked around the pond we tried to pick out which angle it was.



















Even though the gardens were fairly dormant this early in the year, they were still fantastic (and much bigger than I had anticipated). I’ve read about these gardens, seen his paintings, and seen them on shows (most recently we watched Monty Don’s French Gardens again).

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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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