Sunday, June 25, 2017

France, Loire Valley - Château de Villandry IV (The Ornamental Garden)

Like an extension of the interior salons, the Ornamental Garden is itself divided into salons of greenery. 

Closest to the chateau is the first salon, composed of four beds. 
In the Andalusian style, its plant structure traces geometric shapes to form the “Love Gardens”.

Climbing up to the belvedere will give you the opportunity to enjoy a magnificent view of the entire Garden of Love, 
divided into four sections: tender love, passionate love, fickle love, tragic love.

Tender Love is symbolized by the hearts separated by flames of love in the corners of the square. 
At the center are masks which were worn at balls to conceal the face, 
enabling their wearers to engage in all sorts of conversation, from the most serious to the most light-hearted.

Passionate Love: Still hearts, but this time they are broken out of passion. 
The clumps of box are entangled to form a maze, further evoking the dance and whirlwind of passion.

Flighty Love: The four fans in the corners symbolize the fickleness of the sentiments. 
Between the fans are the horns representing betrayed love and, in the center, the love letters and sweet notes exchanged by lovers. 
The predominant colour in this square is yellow, the symbol of betrayed love.

Lastly, Tragic Love: The designs represent the blades of daggers and swords used in duels caused by amorous rivalry. 
In summer, the flowers are red to symbolize the blood shed in these combats.

On the left, in the center: a design easily recognizable as the Maltese Cross. 
Behind this cross, to the right, is the Cross of Languedoc and, to the left, the Basque Cross. 
Lastly are the highly stylized fleur-de-lys lining the moat.

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