The French-style Gardens of Eyrignac, a family heritage maintained with passion
Nestled in the heart of the ‘Périgord Noir’ (Black Périgord), this verdant garden comes in every shade of green. Yews, box, hornbeam and cypress are the backbone of the garden. It is the proportions of the topiaries at Eyrignac which make it so notable ; sculpted trees and shrubs, green rooms, the patterns of boxwood, French-style flowerbeds. The diversity of the forms seem to have no limits, and yet remain in harmony with the architectural lines of the manor house and the 200 hectares of protected natural woodland that surrounds this setting. These gardens blend the classical and structured balance of French-style gardens with the contours and imagination of the remote Italian Renaissance.
10 hectares of green sculptures
‘The French-style gardens at Eyrignac have been in my family, handed down through sons and daughters, for the last 500 years. Twenty-two generations have succeeded one another since the construction of the first castle or ‘repaire noble’ (noble seat). During the ‘La Fronde des Princes’ in the 17th century, a rebellion against Mazarin, my ancestor remained faithful to the loyalist camp. In retaliation, the troops of the ‘Grand Condé’ destroyed the original castle, dating from the ‘Haut Moyen-âge’ (early Middle Ages). The present manor house was rebuilt by Antoine de Costes de la Calprenède in the 17th century on the ruins of the ancient ‘noble seat’. The first gardens were created in the 18th century, on the initiative of Louis-Antoine Gabriel de la Calprenède (Antoine’s great-grandson). The French-style gardens, following the fashion at that time, were inspired by the gardens of Italian villas. They were completely reworked in the 19th century to follow the new fashion and became an ‘English Park’.
My father, Gilles Sermadiras, wanted to recreate the gardens in the spirit of the 18th century. He was guided by his own vision and searched the grounds for traces of the former garden ; low walls, stairs, former ponds etc….. He personally drew up the plans for the garden he had so often imagined and which was a reflection of his own character.
I now strive to preserve this “secret garden” and try every day to pay homage to my father’s creativity by perpetuating his work with rigour and passion. ”
Patrick Sermadiras de Pouzols de Lile