France’s equivalent to the Chelsea Flower Show

The International Garden Festival founded in 1992 is a boundary chaumontpushing garden festival for gardeners and garden designers alike.  Held in Chaumont-sur-Loire, the French Festival is France’s equivalent of the Chelsea Flower Show.

Since its opening, the Festival has showcased nearly 580 gardens, selecting more than 25 international garden designers, gardeners, artists and architects each year.  Unlike Chelsea, the festival encourages its 150,000 visitors to wander round the futuristic gardens and to get up close to the plants.

With reduced entrance fees for children, it’s most certainly a family occasion. As well as guided tours, the Festival has a range of activities, including shops, cafes and restaurants to keep everyone entertained when not viewing the gardens.

One of the garden designs showcased at the Festival, named “La Balance”, is by two British garden designers - Hay Joung Hwan, landscape architect and Simon Kitchin, Director at SLD Design ltd.  The duo explains their garden, “The concept behind this design is to highlight the internal conflicts we all endure in every day life in resisting the temptation to sin.”  At first glance, the design looks simplistic but a deeper meaning to the garden is explained through the use of two sets of seven black rendered monoliths, on either side of the garden.  The 14 monoliths are explained as “7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Heavenly Virtues.”  Once the concept of the garden is fully understood, the full extent of what the garden represents and the clever use of design can be appreciated.

With the International Garden Festival still running throughout September and October there is still time to visit this spectacular festival and even if the Festival is something you’ve previously attended, with new and unexpected designs every year, you won’t be disappointed.  Should you find yourself at the festival then the British entry, “La Balance”, at number 16 is well worth a look and if you are looking to find a local garden designer then our database of designers and landscapers will give you the profiles of those near you.


By London Stone Blog | Published 27th August 2014
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