Gardens Near and Far episode 16 – La Roche Guyon: Partly dug out in the chalk cliffs along a bend in the River Seine, the castle of La Roche Guyon overlooks an outstanding vegetable and fruit garden.
Developed by Duke Alexandre de la Rochefoucauld in the early 18th century, this garden, which as well as being a place of production and experiment is also a pleasure garden, reflects the spirit of the Enlightenment. Still today, alongside the garden’s strict geometrical lines there is an innovative approach to the choice of plantations and gardening techniques.
Gardens Near and Far episode 16 – La Roche Guyon
The present Château de La Roche-Guyon was built in the 12th century, controlling a river crossing of the Seine, itself one of the routes to and from Normandy. The Abbé Suger described its grim aspect: “At the summit of a steep promontory, dominating the bank of the great river Seine, rises a frightful castle without title to nobility, called La Roche. Invisible on the surface, it is hollowed out of a high cliff. The able hand of the builder has established in the mountainside, digging into the rock, an ample dwelling provided with a few miserable openings”.
In the mid-13th century, a fortified manor house (the château-bas) was added below. Guy de La Roche fell at the Battle of Agincourt, and his widow was ousted from the Roche, after six months of siege, in 1419. She preferred to depart rather than accept Henry Plantagenet as her overlord. It came to the Liancourt family with the marriage of Roger de Plessis-Liancourt to the heiress Marie de La Roche. He was a childhood companion of Louis XIII, first gentleman of the Chambre du Roi, and was made a duke in 1643.
Landscape architect Jean-Philippe Teyssier takes us on a discovery of the most beautiful gardens in France and the world. The gardeners, landscapers, horticulturalists, architects, historians and estate managers he meets unveil the art of gardening. They show us how gardens have been designed, planted and maintained over the centuries. The exceptional gardens Jean-Philippe Teyssier visits make up a myriad of passions, journeys, colors and shapes.