The Naples Garden, a garden rediscovered

The Naples Garden, a garden rediscovered

A garden being created as part of the 2017 year of gardens in the Loire Valley.

The pleasure of strolling through gardens, it must be remembered, stimulates the five senses and all evidence points to that being the guiding aim in the design of the first garden at Amboise, the Naples Garden.

Long since vanished beneath the results of the terrace’s successive redevelopments, this area rediscovers part of the structural elements of the original garden, which, to take into account the site’s evolution and uses, will be enriched with more contemporary elements.

The garden perimeter created by Dom Pacello da Mercogliano at the end of the 15th century remains perfectly defined. This long terrace forms a real hanging garden suspended over the town, the river and the valley.  In keeping with the place’s spirit, its strictly geometric design, set out around a median axis, appears to create a wide carpet unrolled in front of the king’s residence.

On the other side, attention is drawn to a hillock, created at an unknown date. Though it does not figure in the engravings by Jacques Androuet de Cerceau, today this promontory forms an ideal place to view the Château and its surroundings. This is the very essence of the garden, a place apart from the world, peaceful and conducive to meditation.

As in Medici villas, terracota pots help to divide the flowerbeds. They add vertical, coloured touches to the otherwise flat terrace. These colours, the pots’ browny red, the green of the plants, the blue, white and yellow of the flowers, have rooted themselves in Amboise over the years. The garden’s harmony relies on the presence of plants that love each other.

Finally, it must be emphasised that this garden’s redevelopment does not in any way represent an historical reconstruction. These are resolutely contemporary gardens, with no other ambition than to help visitors discover and understand the giant history book that is the Château of Amboise.