Today is the first day of the Chelsea Flower Show and each year we become rather wistful, thinking about the wonderful show gardens, and indeed about our own little plot back in England. The French don’t really have an equivalent to Chelsea. But many chateaux run fine plant shows, like the well-known Journée des Plantes at Courson, and the equally lovely Fêtes des Plantes at the Domaine Saint-Jean de Beauregard. We were there last autumn, admiring the many heirloom vegetable plants, the variety of herbs on offer and the beautifully presented perennials. One stand offered 23 different varieties of echinacea.
There is also a fine seventeenth-century potager, apparently tended by a single gardener, which is beautiful in autumn’s gold and russet tones. The next fête runs from 24th to 26th September.