This is a picky question but it means a lot to me because I've wanted to see some of the great gardens of Europe for so long. We'll be in the Loire Valley the second week of May; no latitude on the timing due family member's schedules. Does anyone know what the gardens in Villandry will typically look like at that time? Will we be looking at just the 'bones' of an early-Spring-like garden, or will there be significant blooms and foliage growth? Our principal interest in Villandry is the gardens, and we would probably go to another chateau instead depending on the state of the gardens at that time. Thanks in advance for any help. I'm having difficulty determining the answer to this on websites.
I don't know if the posting of links to this newer version of the board have been fully implemented yet, but have you seen this post? No one knows how warm the Spring will be, so I think her winter question applies here.
Thanks very much. I would still be interested in hearing what people have experienced there in early May, as opposed to late Fall or Winter. I realize that to some extent it's a 'your mileage may vary' scenario depending on whether Spring arrives early or late.
Not sure if this helps, but for comparison, the tulip gardens at Keukenhof are usually at their full bloom in mid to late April. However, a specific prediction is fools' game, because quoting numbers for the "average spring weather" in northern Europe conceals a pretty wide year-to-year deviation from the mean.
No doubt by checking various websites for Villandry in late April and the beginning of May you can get answers to your question. Anything else at this point is just speculation. There is even a "contact us" link you can use on the official web site for Villandry if you look carefully.
I just noticed that the Villandry web site at http://www.chateauvillandry.fr/en/ has pictures of how the gardens look now, in April 2014. Just posting this in case it's of use to anyone else.
As a followup to my question above, we did go to Villandry, on May 14. Columbus, OH is US zone 5, or maybe 6a in the city. I would say Villandry was about 4 weeks ahead of us. The gardens were a kind of cross between Spring and early Summer, with Spring vegetables and pansies still in place but Roses in full bloom, trees completely leafed out, herbaceous beds of flowering plants with lots of color, herb gardens in early maturity. It was a fantastic time to visit. It wasn't particularly busy except when a school group came through. We would usually just slow down and let them pass us in order to return to the quiet of our visit. We also enjoyed touring the chateau. It felt more personal than some other sights because of the recent history of the owning family that was on display.