Nobody warned me that a day’s gardening would be such hard work. Spending yesterday in the garden preparing it for winter has left me with a dull ache in the backs of my legs today. I can only begin to imagine how I would feel if I had spent the day toiling in a garden as large and as grand as Marqueyssac.
My garden measures just 7.5 by 4.5 metres. Yet, clearing away the dead leaves, taking out the shrubs that aren’t pulling their weight any more and planting up some winter colour took the whole day.
Les Jardins de Marqueyssac would be a different matter altogether.
Located in Vézac in the Dordogne, the gardens are famed for their 150,000 boxwoods – each of which has been pruned by hand into a dome or some other fantastical shape.
The result is a garden with more than a hint of whimsy about it.
Creating it began back in 1861, when the château became the home of keen gardener Julien de Cerval. He set about planting its garden and devoted the final 30 years of his life to tending it.
It’s not just the magical gardens that have made this the most visited garden in the department – the views are spectacular too. From the terrace, visitors can admire Castelnaud and Beynac in the morning light, La Roque-Gageac in the afternoon heat and the Dordogne valley as the sun sets.
I’ve yet to make it there. I’ll be sure to rectify that very soon – it’s got to be better than spending a day working in my own garden.