Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire (The Gardens of the Imagination)

Terrasson Lavilledieu
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Les Jardins de l'Imag ...

The visit of the day is : the Jardins de l’Imaginaire (The Gardens of the Imagination), in Terrasson. These visits can only be guided tours and the tickets can be collected at the Tourist Office located just above the new bridge. There are discounts for students and groups and free entrance for the children under 10 years old. The tours take place every 30 minutes during summer.

After getting my ticket, I waited for the guide. Malika is my guide for the visit which lasts approximately 1 hour. First, Malika took me to the front of Terrasson Castle to tell me the story of the creation of the gardens in the nineties. A French-American landscaper took over the project and imagined contemporary gardens that would be unique in Europe. The first shrubs surrounding the castles are symmetric to it : The pyramid shape yews return to the windows. She wanted to show the domination of humans over nature, this image will be totally different in the gardens.

I then passed in front of one of the fountains of the town, and took the walkway leading to this green oasis. Before entering, Malika told me all the themes represented by these unique gardens : vegetal, minerals, water, wind relationships, pathway and perspective. All these elements could be found in the 13 tableaus of the gardens. These six hectares (15 acres) of greenery respect nature and promote the harmony between the Man and its environment.

The first tableau is the “Bois Sacré” (The Sacred Wood) with its five waterfalls. It is dedicated to the Roman culture and their gods. Wind chimes are installed everywhere, and with the slightest wind, a harmonious music resonates through the trees. I pass under the “Tunnel Vegetal” (Vegetal Tunnel) to arrive to the “Jardin Elémentaire” (Elementary Garden) which takes its inspiration of areas from the Middle Ages monasteries. It is a real tableau, the colours do change with the seasons. A golden thread crosses the forest, and I follow it to find my way.

After few steps, I arrived in front of the “Terrasse de Mousses” (The Moss Terrace), I was lucky to spot a squirrel family ! I carried on my trail towards the “Théâtre de Verdure” (The Green Theatre) : the roof of the glasshouse simulates a water surface, the tree and the sky reflect perfectly into it. This glasshouse does not house any flowers, it is cold, and only symbolise the presence of the Man in the gardens. The view is splendid and I have a beautiful panorama on the old town. I crossed the wild part of the park and stopped at the Belvédère. As Malika said, “it is like a postcard, only few words such as “Best wishes from Terrasson” ! are missing !!” Malika told me the history of Terrasson and its creation. Followed by the perspectives with the earth banks, they are illuminated at night as it is the only part of the gardens which are visible from the town. This visual stairs make my imagination work and I just wanted to go down to reach the town centre, the perspective is such that I feel drained !

I then went to what is considered the most beautiful of the garden : the water jet forest and its canal. Unfortunately, the irises were not in bloom anymore, I imagine them dressing up this scenery. This is why I recommend you visit this park at springtime to enjoy all the flowers ! I admire these big water jets, I listen to the clickety of the water on the paved stones. Following the guide, I crossed it, this cooled me down, pure bliss ! This tableau is an evocation of paradise and I find it just perfect ! Malika let me admire the panorama from the heights. Below there is the Bassin Arc-en-ciel (Rainbow bath). It is rightly named as the refractions of the sun through the water jet create rainbows. It is magical !

I am leaving this fairyland for the poesy of the Roseraie (Rose garden). Thousands of roses decorate this green landscape for my greatest delight. They take their name after artists ; it is original ! They smell beautiful. Below, some beehives allow the bees to forage ; the honey is sold at the Tourist Office shop.

I then head towards the Chemin des Fontaines (The Fountain Path) where several fountains of various sizes allow visitors to listen to the noise of water and its resonance. Each person listens to a different noise, each one has their own interpretation. Then it is the Topiaire where the trees are cut to represent the windows of the past, the present and the doors of the future. I would never have guessed this without Malika’s help. The last tableau represents engraved stones, each of them has a particular message : the Amazonie, the Tigre and the Euphrate, the Mississipi, the Nil and the Gange and the Brahmapoutre. I let you guess their significance !

The visit ends with the glasshouse which welcomes a different exhibition every year. The visit is free and the guide lets us enjoy this moment. This year, there are photos of the town. I think that it ends the trail very well. Time has flown ! You can find in the glasshouse, toilets and water fountains for a drink.

I had a great time in the Jardins de l’Imaginaire. It is a place to awaken your senses. I could hear sometimes some noises in the bushes, I know they were birds but it is all about triggering my imagination : could they be trolls ? ;) It is a fairy tale place and it must be very romantic when the flowers are in bloom. The landscape changes according to the weather or the season and so changes our imagination.

These gardens have several steps ; I would not recommend this place for disable access users or families with large pushchairs. Saying that, it is a unique place calm and quiet. The visitor feels in harmony with nature. I was a bit taken aback by having a compulsory guided visit for gardens. Personally, I like wandering freely to discover a natural surrounding. But, Malika made me travel with her, she is very pleasant and likes to help you discover new tableaus. Her information was to completely necessary to inderstand the identity of the gardens !

As we say : the imagination is the best transport company in the world !

Let yourself be transported in this green oasis of the Black Périgord !

Les jardins de limaginaire

Les jardins de limaginaire
Les jardins de limaginaire
Les jardins de limaginaire
Les jardins de limaginaire
Les jardins de limaginaire
Les jardins de limaginaire
Les jardins de limaginaire
Les jardins de limaginaire
Les jardins de limaginaire
Les jardins de limaginaire
Les jardins de limaginaire
Les jardins de limaginaire
Les jardins de limaginaire


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