La Citadelle

Les Jardins de Sardy

The gardens of the small Château de Sardy, in Vélines, just 5 miles from La Citadelle, is one of the nicest gardens I know. It is open to visitors from Easter to All Saints Day (November 1st).
Tel: 0033 (0)5 53 27 51 45

  The small Château de Sardy was renovated and its gardens created in the 1950s by its Anglo-French owners. A lovely garden was built on the crags and in the south-facing bowl of land below the Château overlooking the Valley of the Dordogne, and is still under development. The present owner, a member of the same family, continues to employ excellent local landscape designers.
  The central feature is the water garden, created from what was originally the family's swimming pool (they have an indoor pool now, in the former orangery). It is formal and stocked with exotic aquatic plants. The lotuses produce exquisite flowers and seed heads.
  Sardy is easy to find just outside the village of Vélines, which is near St Emilion. The guide who takes the entrance fee, sells teas and plants, and answers all your questions, will speak English (and is often not French). You may well meet the owner, and he also speaks excellent English. The gardeners are extremely helpful too, but you need to understand plant names in French.
  In addition to the formal water garden, there is a shady woodland area with small statues, an open area of flowering and scented trees, an informal garden of lawns, rocks, and small pools, and a formal vineyard. The garden is blessed by natural springs, which are engineered to cascade through the small pools.
  Les Jardins de Sardy is a lovely peaceful spot, well worth an hour or two of anyone's time. The gardens are not too large to be appreciated without too much exertion, and there is always a cup of coffee or tea available on the terrace overlooking the whole estate when you have finished strolling around. We are lucky to have such a pleasant spot only five miles or so from La Citadelle