Loches is one of the larger towns in it’s immediate area (with a population of a whopping 6500 or so!) and is surrounded by the most charming villages dotted throughout the countryside. This is something I just love about France. La campagne (countryside) is simply full of teensy gorgeous villages! Some of them have populations as small as a hundred, and their history goes back with the families for hundreds of years. There will be a whole string of these villages within a five to ten minute drive of one another, with one or two schools servicing every half dozen villages, and each one having it’s own boulangerie and maybe access to a small market. I was always so charmed as we drove through the country roads, passing all these beautiful unique spots. It is something I will definitely miss when we go home.
About a twenty minute drive from Loches is Chédigny, population 500 or so, and with a reputation for having the most incredible roses and flowers in spring. Oliver had a footie tournament one weekend in early May just nearby, so Danica and I went up to have a peek at the prettiness. The wisteria (les glycines in french) was in full bloom and absolutely spectacular! We wandered the quaint quiet streets breathing in the intoxicating scent. Danica spent some time choosing which house she would want to live in one day.
Later in the month, just before we sold our car, Danica and I drove out again one evening to see the roses. It was just days before Chédigny’s annual Rose Festival, so our timing was perfect. Just when I thought I’d seen the most amazing roses (there are some fabulous ones in Loches!), I was surprised once again and completely in awe of these incredible roses. The bushes soar up to 20 feet, draping over houses and covering walls, full of the most vivid, fragrant blooms. The bushes are all tagged with the names as well as a year, some of these roses date back to the mid 1800s!
I’m so glad we had the chance to go and see Chédigny in full bloom. It was completely awe inspiring. I must plant roses in my garden the minute we get home. Maybe in 150 years they will grow to be as spectacular as these…