La vie en rose in the Loire Valley

With its infinitely-nuanced colouring and subtle, varied perfumes, the rose – muse of poets and writers – is incontestably the queen of flowers. Especially in the Loire Valley, where it finds a beneficial climate and growing spots of choice, from gardens to chateaux and medieval villages. Here we embark on a poetic and botanical ride along the Route de la Rose in the Loiret.

Strolling at the Château de Chamerolles

In the Renaissance garden at the Chateau de Chamerolles, built on the site of an old medieval fortress at the edge of the forest of Orléans, you can stroll in the shade of the cradles of wood covered with vines, glycines, honeysuckles and – of course – roses. Ancients, climbers, lianas: there’s something for everyone among the 60 varieties. Don’t miss the rose garden of André Eve, a famous rose grower, which presents some 600 ancient varieties and award-winning creations – it’s just 500 metres from the chateau.
Château de Chamerolles (External link)

Wandering in Yèvre-le-Châtel

Here flowers are blended beautifully with old stone. In this village nestled below a medieval fortress, the rose blooms on every street corner. We wander the streets in search of the most beautiful specimens before seeing the romantic remains of the Saint-Lubin church, once admired by Victor Hugo.
Yèvre-le-Châtel (External link)

In the private garden of André Eve

You’d never suspect that behind the wooden door of 28 bis Faubourg d’Orléans in Pithiviers hides an extraordinary garden: the André Eve rose garden. There are many varieties of roses here: his favourites, as well as unknown and rare varieties or new roses from his work of hybridisation and research. Maintained by an association since Eve’s death, the garden is open to the public in the summer, with some guided tours available.
André Eve rose garden (External link)

Walk to the Parc Floral de la Source

From June to September, the rose garden of the Parc Floral de la Source is adorned with a shades of white, red and pink from the sweetest to the most dazzling. And the fragrances floating in the air are mouthwatering: roses adoring pergolas alongside lavender, thyme and other perennials and aromatic plants. All the more appropriate since one of Orléans’ specialities is the fruit macaron – and of course, there’s a version made with candied rose petals.
Parc Floral de la Source (External link)

Along the paths at the Manoir de la Javelière

The garden of Manoir de la Javelinière is the result of a passionate collector’s work and presents the rose in all its facets. On the landscaped park side, the rose garden is home to nearly 450 varieties while old roses bloom freely in the park. In the wild meadow you can also admire a rare collection of some 300 botanical roses from China, America and the Middle East, with abundant spring flowering.
Manoir de la Javelinière (External link)

In the shade of the Roquelin gardens

‘Nymph’s Thigh’, ‘Garland of Love’ and ‘Loveable Friend’ are some of the rose varieties with evocative names that can be admired in the romantic Roquelin gardens with its British accents. If one of them catches your eye, good news: most of the plants in the garden are available for sale.
Roquelin gardens (External link)

The Loire Valley