A Conservatory initiated by the Prince in 1992, that became a 650 tomato collection in 1998. It was then listed by the CCVS as (Conservatoire des Collections de Variétés Spécialisés), showing the immense variety of this fruit and therefore the level of unknown biodiversity of a supposedly well know fruit, one of the most consumed in the world.
Louis Albert de Broglie has picked up the idea of bringing ancient vegetable and fruits, herbs and flowers, reminiscent of his garden in Normandy and from his long stay in India were local markets which were showing a greater diversity and cultural conservation compared to our standardize modern world.
Working with individuals, ONG’s that were doing a tremendous work of preserving old species, at some point he was asked by a major International seeding company offering subsidies to renovate the estate vegetable garden, to drop from his committee list the name of 2 individuals trying to keep alive ancient species for the benefit of all
The alternative was no alternative to Louis Albert de Broglie, but to turn down the subsidies offered by the international seeding company.
Louis Albert de Broglie preferred Philippe Desbrosses and Dominique Guillet’s battle to save old species and share them with the community.
This became a sort of crusade for Louis Albert that understood that the principal factor of species disappearing was the lack of knowledge from the general public that were distracted from the use of vegetable gardens to industrial offers in supermarket.
In the middle of the 90s this was a bit avantgardist, but with the ‘dioxin’, mad cow diseases soon turned the no interest of the public into a large question mark : what do we eat and how come some gardens show an unknown diversity ?.
The vegetable garden of the Château de la Bourdaisière is meant to show, teach, make people aware, so they can understand the issue, preserve the species by planting them, discover the virtues of the aliments and transmit to the next generation.
The vegetable garden is open from April 1st to October 30st. The vegetables are only grown on a principle of biodynamics with a total respect for local traditions.
Further to the tomato collection, the garden offers a wide range of medicinal plants with a garden designed by Marie d’Hennezel well know for a Conservatory Garden in the Cévennes and her herbal tea collection and products, and also offers a new contemporary garden that includes a Dalhia Color with more than 100 different Dalhias
The DAHLIA COLOUR
Inaugurated in spring 2008, the Dalhia colour is a contemporary garden located at the back of the XIX° century vegetable garden. A colour composition of 100 different species, with different colour splashes laid down in a square and circles as a painter's palet. This allows one to rediscover again the amazing diversity of this 'flora' family, from botanical small flowers to high big blossoming ones.
Botanists have recorded 2000 different varieties from the 30 known to the general public. With the help of Monsieur François LAPORTE, Maître Gantier et Parfumeur and Enest Turc, a famous Nursery from Angers, and the garden design of Louis Benech, the 2009 Dalhia colour shall be a great discovery - a great beauty.