Day Tripping: International Garden Festival
Fairytale Dreams Do Come True

Fairytale Dreams Do Come True


Because it’s only a two hour drive outside of Paris and it only happens once a year. And everyone loves an international competition.

If that’s not enough reason, you will be in the Loire Valley, so yes, there will be wine and LOTS OF IT and there is a castle on this property and several in the surrounding area. Stay Tuned for “A Weekend in the Loire Valley”.


The Festival is held at Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire


This year all installations are all based on concepts of thought (hence the name Garden of Thoughts or Jardin de la Pense for you francophiles) so be prepared to be transported to another place or another realm. Some of the topiary works of art you will see are inspired by Proust, Rousseau, Mirabeau and even modern day pop culture such as Harry Potter, to name a few. Other installations take on modern day discussions such as climate change and sustainability. This is a global competition so you will be viewing works and perspectives from all over the world.

The works are created by a merging of extremely talented individuals in set design, art direction graphic design partnered with artistic professionals in landscaping, architecture, gardening and urban planning. This year, they even have an anthropologist and geographer in the mix.

Here are a few of my faves…


The domaine is open all year, but if you want to catch the Garden Festival, make sure to go between April 24 to November 4th. If you are a true garden art aficionado, I suggest going in the spring or summer when the installations are better maintained. 


Great for EVERYONE--it just isn't about the gardens here, but you would be a fool to miss it. The artistry is beyond amazing and you get to see creative expression in it’s most natural and innovative form from a global thought provoking perspective. If being outdoors isn’t your thing or you need a break from the cold, step inside the castle and galleries to take in a little history. Kids are welcome too and they have stables and even a children’s garden and vegetable garden that will keep that little ones entertained. Needless to say, they speak english and brochures come in the language of your choice.