The Water Gardens of Carsac Aillac

Carsac Aillac
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The Water Gardens of  ...

If you like beautiful gardens in the Dordogne , come with us to visit the superb Water Gardens of Carsac Aillac . Maintained in family by enthusiasts of aquatic botany , it is a wonder! 3 hectares of green terraced terraces , with surprises that will dazzle young and old. Lotus and various aquatic plants flourish in refreshing pools , but also pontoons above the water , aquatic labyrinth , all with a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside . Multicolored bamboo and flowers , coffee and shop : a 100% family-friendly visit, to be discovered urgently!

A Remarkable Garden

Didier and Claude Bernard have always been passionate about aquatic plants . They have a green thumb and love pleasure gardens , which they know how to make 1000 species more beautiful bloom than each other. 20 years ago, they embarked on this crazy adventure of creating a unique garden as well as a nursery for lovers, like them, of lotus , grasses , reeds and exotic plants . Near Sarlat , in the heart of the Périgord Noir and in a green setting, they create Les Jardins d'Eau , which are now a must - see in the region.

The Water Gardens of Carsac Aillac


It was no small task to imagine how to take advantage of these 3 hectares of nature on a hillside. The advantage of the site is this perspective that we appreciate from the first past pools, impossible to imagine arriving from the small portal of the site, that we will emerge in a place so spacious and breathtaking ! The view is magnificent and Didier and Claude have done a fantastic landscaping work , to honor this hill. We are enchanted from the start to the end of the visit.

For several years, their son Stevens Bernard has joined them in the maintenance of the gardens and the site visit . Since 2012, the Water Gardens have been labeled Remarkable Garden and it is entirely deserved. In addition to being beautiful, it is a respectful site , all the basins are supplied with water from the Dordogne and in a closed circuit . The water is filtered by the plants , fish and other animal species present and the river water is only used to top up the pools (due to evaporation, like in a swimming pool). Admire grasses on beds , aquatic palustrine plants (from marshy areas), species from all over the world. If the basins are autonomous and nothing is released into the environment, it is also to preserve the Dordogne downstream, which is a biosphere reserve and must not be colonized by anything other than endemic plants.

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Few weeks later !

A garden full of life

All the basins are populated by various species of fish , molluscs and amphibians . It is a real small autonomous ecosystem that has been set up, proof that everything is well thought out to accommodate them. Do not be afraid of mosquitoes at the Water Gardens, because the Gambusia affinis are there to watch and eat the larvae in the basins! It is a cleaner fish . Carps Koi , Carps Amour are herbivorous fish that clean the basins and were established from the first shoots.

In June / July (depending on the climate), it is the flowering of Lotus ! An array of bright colors and shades of purple , yellow , white, and red adorn the surface of the water. These are delicate , elegant and beautiful flowers that you will enjoy observing throughout the visit. The Water Gardens have around forty Lotus species , around a hundred Water Lilies (a kind of water lily) and 150 plants on the banks . The basins are not deep, because these sometimes exotic aquatic plants need to flourish and flower abundantly, as the water temperature rises rapidly in the spring. Going beyond the pools and arriving at a height, you will see a small bridge over a pool , which will remind you of Claude Monet's paintings.

Approach the pools, follow the characteristic croaking of the pretty frogs that decorate the pools, you will surely see them, before it jumps out of their nimble legs to sneak under a leaf or jump into the water. There are also ducks, herons, kingfishers, dragonflies, spiders, water and other amazing shellfish water cleaners!

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Feed the carp

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Visit the Water Gardens

The visit is from May 1 to September 30. You can go there anytime, there are always nice things to see . That said, in early May and late September, you will not see the same things, so I can only recommend that you go back to another period, the physiognomy of the site changes a lot between spring and autumn!

At the start of the season, you will see the water lilies forming, the lotuses hatch and towards autumn, you will have the pleasure of contemplating certain exotic varieties such as the giant Victoria Water Lily, at their maximum size! The leaf circumference can reach 3m in diameter!

You can visit with the family , individually and groups will be received by reservation, visiting from 15 people. You will benefit from a well-rounded paper visit guide with information on flora and fauna.

Take advantage of the picnic tables , bring something to sit on and have a snack. If you have forgotten the food, there is a cafe right next to a shop full of pretty and delicate ornamental items from the garden and the house. Les Jardins d'Eau is a great day ahead, a site where you can spend several hours digging, rummaging, taking photos and resting!

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The pools at the entrance, in front of the shop. There is also a natural swimming pool (where you cannot swim, this is an example of an illustration)

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Water gardens
Going down to the gardens at the bottom of the hill, the small bridge reminiscent of Monet

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Plants and flowers of all sizes and colors
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Pontoons on the water
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Bamboo forest
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Enchanting perspectives
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Admire the landscape, rest on the benches

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Footbridges over the water: this is the labyrinth. You can operate the water jets with your smartphone !!
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We are having fun !
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The nursery, where to buy plants for your pools and collections

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The shop to have fun and support this generous and family site!




A nursery to buy lotus, water lilies and ornamental pond and ornamental plants

For lovers of aquatic plants, this is the ideal opportunity to expand the collection, since a nursery section offers the sale of certain species.


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Find out more


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