October 05 2012
Patrick and Capucine Sermadiras open their family gardens to some 80,000 visitors every year. More than three hundred topiaries punctuate the four acres of manicured lawns, bordered by fifteen kilometres of hedges.
It is commonly believed that the of support of the local village council of Salignac Eyvigues, near to Sarlat in the heart of lush green Périgord, is solely responsible for the development of such a flourishing business. But the gardens of the Manoir owe their beauty to the endless passion of one family that has continued for half a century.
One only needs to cross the horbeam walk, the veritable “backbone” of the garden, to feel transported to a bygone era. Classed among the “remarkable gardens” of France and considered a historic monument of the 17th and 18th centuries, Eyrignac is primarily an area of life that is constantly evolving. A feat all the more impressive when considering that preserving the very particular characteristics of one of the most stunning gardens in France requires unfaltering attention.
To achieve this, a team of six gardeners dedicate their full attention to the vast park. And everything here is done by hand, which stands as testimony to the excellence of the art of these men and women. Designed using the classic principles of lines, points of views and repetition – conventions so dear to the so-called “jardins à la françaises” – each space is conceived as an individual area, a sort of boudoir from which the views of the other sections are intended to be a delight.
To appreciate the full richness of the promenade, “one should visit the garden at different times of the day,” explains Patrick Sermadiras. Long reserved strictly for family use, the jardins d’Eyrignac are a reflection of the love that has been bestowed upon the grounds, and this is a love that is well rewarded throughout the seasons.