Haute-Saintonge is home to magnificent gardens to visit, worked by enthusiasts. They sublimate the plants and immerse you in a wonderful universe …
The “Fontaines Bleues” (blue fontains) of Beaulon Castle park
On the Gironde “Route verte de l’Estuaire”, the Château de Beaulon in Saint Dizant du Gua has an extraordinary 13 hectare garden. Calm and silence dominate as soon as you start to walk in the park. It is just the songs of the birds that punctuate the walk. A stroll is offered in the heart of a beautiful arboretum made up of venerable age trees. Flower beds bursting with color dot almost British lawns.
Then, the visitor’s footsteps lead him to the most emblematic place in the park: the mysterious “Blue Fountains”. These natural springs form small ponds. Their deep and peaceful waters present a dark blue coloring, strange and magical. Reading the legends related to these very pure waters is definitely worth discovering …
It is the rapture that dominates.
An ever so gentle path leads back to the castle through the plantations where it is good to cool off in summer. Finally, you should admire the dovecote which dates from the 18th century. It housed some 1,500 nests swept by its revolving ladder. The Château, built in the 15th century, was the residence of the Bishops of Bordeaux in the 17th century. Only a lounge dedicated to the tasting of cognac and Pineau des Charentes produced on site is open to the public.
Duration of the park visit: 1 hour
Then, the little extra: The second magical place of Château de Beaulon is its distillery. Each year, the multiple and spectacular copper stills make it possible to distill the property’s wine into a famous brandy. After aging, it will give cognac and Pineau knowing that this domain has remained faithful to the traditional 16th century grape varieties chosen for their specificity and their harmonious complementarity.
Information : château de Beaulon – Saint Dizant du Gua – +33 (0)5 46 49 96 13 – www.chateau-de-beaulon.fr
The tropical garden of the Antilles of Jonzac
The most amazing and spectacular is the tropical greenhouse. This space is the backdrop for swimming when you are on the lagoon side, but it is also a goal of a walk in its own right. Through a path, many species develop over 1500 m² of gardens to visit. Hibiscus, banana trees, orchids, lianas, giant ficus, pineapples follow one another in the footsteps and cascades and mosses.
In this humid and warm atmosphere, the plants are exuberant. It is good to sit on a bench for a crossword puzzle or to leaf through a book.
This area is freely accessible and open to all, during the opening hours of the aquatic center.
Finally, every year in December, a large exhibition of orchids and exotic plants is organized in this idyllic setting.
The medicinal garden of Pons
Attached to the Pilgrims Hospital, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the Ways of Saint James de Compostela, this medieval-inspired medicinal garden was once the Hospital’s pharmacy. It was then called the New Hospital and received pilgrims and needy people. Through a free or guided visit, dozens of varieties and species of plants with ancient virtues are to be discovered. They grow in well-defined squares and in a haven of peace. More contemporary varieties also find their place.
Among all the species present, each had its role. Medicinal herbs and aromatic herbs to prepare remedies, herbal teas and ointments, but also herbs to spice up dishes.
>> contact : Tourist office of Pons : +33 (0)5.17.24.03.47
The medieval garden in Jonzac
Along the rampart walk, the Medieval Garden of the “Douves” is a balcony overlooking the Seugne which winds at the foot of Jonzac. It is nestled on the exact site of the old rampart walk of the castle.
In this small enclosed space, grow no less than 118 species of plants. They were able to feed, care for and clothe the men. They are distributed in different raised squares and rectangles and surrounded by plessis. Chantal, passionate about nature and the environment, presents them during visits organized by the tourist office
The square of women, the garden of Mary, the square of the simple or the evil plants of witches have come back to life in this place thanks to the daily work of a handful of enthusiasts.
Everyone can recognize plants still used today to perfume, spice, relieve. Of course, we will also discover somewhat forgotten plants whose virtues – supposed or real – are astonishing. This visit is an opportunity to travel through time, the know-how and the daily life of the inhabitants of our regions.
This haven of peace and color can be visited in small groups from spring to autumn – Visit only in french.
> Tourist Office of Jonzac +33 (0)5 46 48 49 29
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