Last Christmas I was given a copy of Monty Don’s book ‘A French Garden Journey’ and this summer made something of my own journey down through France and back.

Each year I visit the Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire, normally on the return journey in July.  Outbound I’m usually impatient to reach the south and drive straight down. But this year I had more time and there were other things I wanted to see, so I planned an itinerary of sorts and booked a charming troglodyte airbnb in Amboise as a base.  I could have stayed longer and seen many more gardens enroute, but that will have to wait for another year.