Eyrignac Manor Garden, a stunning topiary garden

Hornbeam Alley
The kids walking through Hornbeam Alley
Our vacation in the beautiful pitoresque Dordogne, brought us to one of France’s most beautiful private gardens, the Eyrignac Manor Garden. The ‘Manor Eyrignac’ is a 17th-century manor house in Salignac-Eyvigues. The garden is an absolute must see when you are in the Périgord region. It’s very well taken care off and in 2004 it was awarded as ‘Remarkable Garden’ by the French Ministry of Culture.

The gardens have always belonged to the same family for the past 5 centuries. When you visit the garden now, it looks just like 200 years ago.

The history of this garden starts around 1653, when a man named Antoine de Costes de la Calprenède decided to have a Manor built on the ruins of an ancient castle. The ancestor of the family was a French writer.In the 18th century his grandson created a beautiful French garden around the family’s Manor. Through time and fashion the garden has changed and in 1987 it was opened for the public. Patrick Sermadiras and his wife Capucine now preside over the family heritage and they are doing a wonderful job together with their team to maintain this green Paradise.

When we visited it was like if time stood still. We stepped right into an 18th century Italian Renaissance garden. The kids loved the little alleys in between the avenues, we discovered an other garden every time we turned a corner.

Topiary art ranges from small knot gardens, to animal shapes to the stunning avenues of tall, shaped hedges such as the Hornbeam Avenue. Box, hornbeams, yew and ivy are used to create the different topiaries at Eyrignac. All the pruning is done using hand-shears- an incredible job when you see the numbers of hedges to be clipped.

The Manor house is a 17th century building constructed in the local golden stone with a slate roof. It has a charming gravelled courtyard flanked by two smaller stone buildings. One of these was the chapel for the manors house and the other the dovecote. 

The latest additions to the garden are the meadow gardens, the flower garden en the kitchen garden. These gardens add some more colours to the mainly green and white Manor Garden. The meadow garden was full of bee and butterfly flowers and was a feast for littly flying creatures. Lady Capucine gets her fresh flowers from the flower garden which was now full of beautiful coloured dahlias. The Kitchen Garden was a great place to spot old vegetable species. Wouldn’t it be great to live here and pick fresh flowers from your own garden and make the most wonderful bouquets. I would love to!

Let the photos inspire you to visit this tranquil green haven in the Périgord region in France.

Eyrignac Manor Garden Facts:

  • A unique collection of over 300 plant sculptures with 10 hectares of maintained garden and 50.000 m2 hedges to trim every year and 6 full-time gardeners to do this
  • The garden is maintained and operated by a private company, without grants, through a permanent team of 13 people (including 6 year-round gardeners)
  • There are 5 hectares of lawns at Eyrignac
  • Eyrignac has 7 natural springs which feed the 12 pools and fountains
  • Collected rain water provides the water needed to keep Eyrignac so lush and green. Most watering takes place overnight
  • There are 5 hectares of lawns at Eyrignac
  • More than 80 different plant species are in the garden

TIP: Night picnics in Eyrignac Manor Garden

Every Monday night during peak season the White Garden is thrown open for night picnics and dance. The entrance price is 15 euros for adults and 6 euros for 5-12 year olds and include music (lounge, dance and chill out), a welcome cocktail and the oppurtunity to explore the gardens in the fresher evening air. The gardens open at 7 pm for the Monday evening visits.

See for opening hours and prices eyrignac.com

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