On June 6, the Rochemontès estate allowed us to go back to the Second Empire, as part of “Rendez-vous aux Jardins. Crinoline dresses, waltz, Offenbach, balloon trips, carriage rides were on the program …
“The Rendezvous in the Gardens”
Every year since 2003, the Ministry of Culture and Communication has organized an event on the theme of gardens, in partnership with the Parks and Gardens Committee. This national event makes the public aware of our “garden” heritage and the place of creation in this area. A means of promoting the richness and variety of parks and gardens in France and in Europe, it promotes exchanges between garden stakeholders (owners, gardeners, horticulturalists, landscapers, etc.) and the public, neophyte and enlightened amateur. It makes visitors aware of the many actions implemented to promote, conserve, restore, create gardens, transmit know-how and train gardeners and art gardeners.
For this 18th edition, from June 4 to 6, the chosen theme was: “The transmission of knowledge”. During the first weekend of June, as usual, visitors were able to discover the richness of the country’s parks. The meeting of the various actors of the garden (botanists, gardeners, landscapers, etc.) makes it possible to share and exchange gardening, horticultural, landscape or even hydraulic know-how.
The 2021 edition of “Rendez-vous aux jardins” opened 215 parks and gardens to the general public. It offered 39 remarkable gardens, 39 exceptional openings, 30 first openings, 95 sites open all year round or in season, 67 openings to schools, 12 circuits and events, 5 houses of illustrious, 20 cities or countries of art and ‘history. Visits, shows, workshops and readings were on the program for 3 days. Everyone could organize their visit with an illustrated 188-page digital guide.
The Domaine de Rochemontès
Located about fifteen kilometers from Toulouse, the area of Rochemontès overlooks the Garonne. This architectural ensemble has belonged to the same family for more than three centuries. Catherine de Lombrail, granddaughter of Pierre-Paul Riquet, famous builder of the Canal des Deux Mers, married in 1684 Gabriel-Amable du Bourg, parliamentarian from Toulouse.
Classified as a Historic Monument, the Rochemontès estate is made up of a set of buildings dating from the 17th century (castle) and 18th century (orangery), surrounded by a 9-hectare French-style park. It is composed as follows:
- The castle, in regional Louis XIII style, dominates the Garonne with its 4 brick towers. We discover a terrace arranged in a French parterre in front of the facade, refurbished in the 19th century.
- The orangery, built in the 18th century, was a prestigious building. It was home to orange trees in winter. You could walk around in its greenhouses. Well closed by frames during the winter, we walked around its greenhouses (orangeries), as in a gallery. Its 7 French windows open onto a flowery green space and an alley lined with fruit trees.
- The park is accessible by 2 paths (one of plane trees and one of hackberry trees). They lead directly onto the terrace and towards the Garonne and not towards the castle. Designed by Le Nôtre, this “French” park then extends perpendicular to the axis of the alleys, aligning with the Garonne. Open to the public only as part of the “Garden Days”, at the beginning of June.
- The chapel of the castle.
- The cherry orchard. Designed for children, it has 2 rooms.
- The estate hosts seminars and weddings. He organizes school visits and takes part in the “Garden Days”.
A Day in the Second Empire
As part of the “Rendez-vous aux Jardins”, the Historia Tempori association organized a return to the Second Empire. This association of costume enthusiasts from southwestern France allows you to get away from it all for a dance, an animation, a re-enactment. Each event relates to a specific period (Renaissance, 1st Empire, Roaring Twenties, 1950s, etc …
Founded in 2017, the association first performed during cultural days. There were then historical fashion shows, commemorations, or events in museums …
This year, she chose the Rochemontès estate to evoke the Second Empire. could see dozens of costumed characters evolve on the terrace of the castle or in the alleys of the park, in the middle of the hundred-year-old trees.
This event is ideal for children: Horse-drawn carriage rides, lyrical recital, period music and dance (French waltzes and quadrilles) and the inflation of a hot air balloon.
Stories from the Second Empire accompany the guided tour. A floral workshop and a historic fashion show decorate it. The first concert (vocals, piano and violin) featured works by Bizet, Offenbach, Fauré and Delibes. Rossini, Gounod, Waldteufel, Offenbach, Franck and Massenet made up the 6pm program.
To eat and rest, there was the possibility of picnicking in the park. A gourmet and artisanal market offered products to taste including specialties baked in the bread oven.