All aboard for the International Garden Festival 2024

All aboard for the International Garden Festival 2024
Château de Chaumont

Offset your barge cruise adventures in France this summer by discovering how sustainability begins at home, in your garden, at this summer’s International Garden Festival in the Loire.

Taking place this summer, the annual International Garden Festival of Chaumont-sur-Loire, opens its chateau doors and surrounding parkland to a new, bold challenge for its 2024 garden designers: The Life-Source Garden.

With a focus on sustainability, the ecosystem, and our duty of care to protect the garden and the creatures in it, the gardeners will be focussing on fruit, vegetables, how to protect trees, flowers and the role of water in creating a complex ecosystem in which life flourishes.

Director of the International Garden Festival, Chantal Colleu-Dumond notes on the official website, that the goal of this year’s festival is to ‘raise awareness of the importance and diversity of plant and animal life forces within gardens’, commending the quality of plants, materials and original scenarios created by the garden designers.

Pollinators City


Pollinators City

Attracting garden designers from around the globe, installations include such creative and poetic entries as ‘Pollinators City’ (La Ville des Pollinisateurs), created with support from Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, University of Arkansas.

Landscaper Scott Biehle and students Fiorella Sibaja and Kara Simmons urge us to ‘imagine that nature and ecosystems had evolved differently…and if humans were not the dominant species,’ before showcasing an active ‘town’, perhaps inspired by the New York skyline and Central Park, buzzing with activity, consisting of nesting boxes, insect hotels and bat houses, designated for birds, bees, butterflies and bats.

Soil: The Biological Matrix

Soil: The Biological Matrix

Soil: The Biological Matrix

Meanwhile, French landscaper and gardener Virginie Alexe and Livia Kolb, a landscaper and illustrator, invite us to take a macro sized look at soil – that ‘biological matrix that is essential to the existence of living beings’, and, more pertinently to the damage inflicted upon around 10 million hectares of the substance annually.

Offering visitors an ‘underground’ tour, revealing, centimetre by centimetre, the unique lifeforms – plant and animal – produced within the different layers of soil, and the crucial role each plays within the ecosystem.

The Garden of Great Grandmother


Festival International des Jardins 2024 © E. Sander

Inspired by the healing forests, white-sand beaches and volcanic landscape of South Korea’s stunning Jeju Island, DRA Design Group landscapers Jeong Ah Park and Gyoung Sok Son pay homage to divine being Seolmundae in their natural garden ‘Le Jardin de l’Ancêtre’, or The Garden of Great Grandmother. Showcasing the rich diversity of the area’s ecosystem, the garden combines volcanic rock, trees and creeping vines in an “ode to biodiversity and tradition that keeps myths alive”. It is hoped that this natural garden, created with support from Supullian, will encourage the preservation of Earth’s “havens”.

Join Us

After your week on the C’est La Vie in the Upper Loire region why not add a few days to your holiday and take in the International Garden Festival or other stunning parts of the Loire region.

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