The Making of the French Garden

The Making of the French Garden

The Gardens of the Château de Villandry

Thursday, January 20 at 12:00 p.m.
$10 Member • $20 Non-member • Free for students*
On Zoom • In English • 12:00 p.m. Chicago(CST) /1:00 p.m. Miami (EST)/19h Paris

Register now

12:00 p.m. (Chicago) • 1:00 p.m. (Miami)  7:00 p.m. (Paris) 

* Entrée Libre initiative: Free for students high school, college, university. Please register with your .edu address


Following the success of our Grands Châteaux Series last winter, Russell Kelley spent the summer visiting the Grands Jardins de France! Our curator extraordinaire returns with a live online series exploring the evolution of the French garden through history, from the Renaissance to the Vertical Garden.  Get ready to travel through time and go green!


The Gardens of the Château de Villandry 

No gardens better exemplify the style of the French Renaissance period than the gardens of Villandry, which were recreated by Joachim Carvallo and his American wife Ann Coleman after their purchase of Villandry in 1906, replacing an English garden. In the absence of the plan for the original garden, the design of the new Renaissance gardens was inspired by the engravings by Androuet du Cerceau of the gardens designed by Dom Pacello de Mercogliano for Charles VIII and Louis XII at Amboise and Blois around 1500.

Speaker: Henri Carvallo is the owner of the Château de Villandry and the great-grandson of Joachim and Ann Carvallo. Henri grew up at Villandry, handing out flyers for the château, acting as a guide, and helping with maintenance. Since taking over the estate from his parents in 1993, Henri has devoted himself full-time to managing Villandry, including the restoration and maintenance of the château and its extensive gardens. Among his other interests, Henri has been president of the French Chess Association for the past two years.


Russell Kelley is the curator and moderator of this lecture series and was the curator of last winter’s series on the “Grands Châteaux of the Loire and Île de France.” He is the author of The Making of Paris: The Story of How Paris Evolved from a Fishing Village into the World’s Most Beautiful City (Lyons Press, 2021), and has lived in Paris for 30 years.


Support and Save! Become an Alliance Française member for as little as $85 a year for a Library + Culture membership.


This program is presented in partnership with the Alliance Française Miami Metro with communication support from the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA, the French Heritage Society, the Historic Gardens Foundation, WICE and The Garden Conservancy.

Through our Entrée Libre initiative, free admission to this program is offered to students enrolled in French Studies in universities and French schools in Chicago and the Midwest.