Ignoring ‘No Entry’ Signs at Chateau de Chaumont

The last castle Judy and I visited on our September trip was Chateau de Chaumont. To me this Chateau looks suspiciously like the Walt Disney castle. However, the brochure claims that it dates to the 10th Century and the person in the gift shop insisted that Walt Disney never lived there.

Chateau de Chaumont
Chateau de Chaumont

Many people go to Chateau Chaumont for the International Garden Festival, but the Chateau itself is worth seeing.

A pleasant hike up the hill to the Chateau
A pleasant hike up the hill to the Chateau

To get there you need to climb a wide path. Takes 20 minutes or so, but there are flowers to look at along the way.

Chateau de Chaumont
I can understand not wanting to take down some really old trees, but this does not work.

Once you get to the top of the hill you see the remains of an allee of trees. Sorry but I can’t remember the kind of trees, but trust me when I tell you they were hundreds of years old. Sadly they had become diseased and the decision was made to top them rather than remove them entirely. Personally, I don’t think this works – sad as it is, they should have removed the old trees entirely and put in something new.

Chateau de Chaumont

As you approach the castle, you pass flower beds full of Salvia, Gaura lindheimeri, Verbena bonariensis, ‘Karl Foerster’ Calamagrostis, and white petunias. UPDATE: Scott from Rhone Street Gardens points out that the grasses are actually Pennisetum macrourum, not ‘Karl Foerster’.

Chateau de Chaumont

There’s a drawbridge and a moat surrounding the castle. Alligators or piranha  in the moat would have been cool but actually it’s dry. Can’t have everything I guess.

Chateau de Chaumont

Once inside, there were lots of winding stairs.

Chateau de Chaumont
This was probably not an area for visitors.

It seems Judy and I don’t pay enough attention to signs. How do you say ‘No Entry” or ‘Personnel Only’ in French? Anyhow, we wandered around and found ourselves in this hallway.

Chateau de Chaumont
“Honey, did you see where I put my new helmet?”

Chateau de Chaumont

We passed by rooms where a wide variety of stuff was stacked on the floor or laid out on shelves. Wonder if they could shoot an episode of Hoarders here? I was really tempted to take one of those helmets. I mean they have so many, I can’t imagine they would miss just one.

View of Loire from Chateau de Chaumont

Nice views of the Loire from the window, though.

Chateau de Chaumont
Flower beds by the old stables.

After leaving the Chateau we walked by the old stables.

Chateau de Chaumont
Can anybody ID this tree?

2013-09-08 07.10.22

There were some really interesting and twisted old evergreen trees. Sorry, once again I don’t know what kind. Cedars? I am really a perennials person, not a tree person. Anyhow, these had very interesting upright cones, something I haven’t seen before.

Another day, another Chateau. Actually, this is the last Chateau we saw in France. We did get to see some castles in England, but that’s for another post.

39 Comments on “Ignoring ‘No Entry’ Signs at Chateau de Chaumont

  1. So breath taking Jason! WOW! And some amazing little treats you both were able to see while exploring! I love the looseness of that 3rd to last garden shot with the sprigs of grasses throughout!

  2. I wonder if your evergreen is not a Cedar of Lebanon. It does not have the shape they normally have but the needles and the cones certainly look like those of the Cedar of Lebanon.

  3. My first thought was Cedar of Lebanon too, they are renound for dropping branches, so this one is maybe just in a bad state.

  4. The tree is Cedrus atlantica f. glauca, I’d say. Thanks for sharing the visit. Have never been there but it’s a fairy tale castle and all without the help of Walt. Some of the planting is very imaginative and I agree, the trees look sad and it may be wiser to replace them.

  5. What a lovely garden! I think that tall grass is actually Pennisetum macrourum…a nice surprise, as you don’t see it very often…it’s wonderful!

  6. From the growth and the cones this could be a Lebanon Cedar – beautiful trees. The trees they have cut back will probably look fantastic in a couple of years. I hate cutting trees down, unless I need the wood! The borders in front of the chateau are very pretty.

  7. The Chateau de Chaumont is a wonderful place. Lovely photos. The French seem to like the combination of Gaura, Verbena and Salvia with grass. It is very effective.
    Chloriss

    • Yes, I had to look twice at the picture to see the replacement trees. I had either not noticed or forgotten they were there. Still, I wonder if the replacements might not do better without root competition from the old trees.

  8. Looks like another beautiful leg of your trip, thank you for sharing. I concur with Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’. We can’t grow blue spruces where I live, as it is too hot and humid, so this tree is a good substitute, at least in color and texture.

  9. Hi Jason
    Interesting trip in chateau! I love the views from the top and the evergreens. I think it’s a fir-tree on your last photo (if it has soft needles). And I would like to have any of those helmets as well!

  10. Funny story–first time I took a group to England someone questioned the name of the tree and I said Cedrus erectus. It took them 20 minutes to come back to see if I was serious or kidding. (I have this exact same photo.)

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