In the afternoon there was a visit to the award-winning gardens of the wine estate Chateau Val Joanis. Their creation was started in 1978 by Cécile Chancel who decided they should be built in the style of a 17th century kitchen garden. They consist of three terraces, the upper a kitchen and flower garden, the middle of flowers and ornamental plants, and the lower of fruit trees, the three terraces linked by a central pergola running down across their width.
There is a profusion of flowers, fruits (pears, apples, quinces, vines) vegetables, bushes and trees, many carefully clipped and shaped, for example a hedge of oak triangular in shape and 12 metres high, a hedge of pistachio and another of Ostrya carpinifolia, rows of various fruits interspersed with flowers, topiary, ceanothus half a metre high clipped flat to form a border. These gardens deserve their awards of being “outstanding”.