There has been a castle on this site since the 12th century, called Colombiers.
It was here that Richard the Lionheart and Phillip Auguste signed the last of
the many peace treaties between the French crown and the Plantagenets, who ruled
England and much of western France.
There is not much to see of the medieval castle except for the square keep in
the south west corner of the garden.
The chateau and gardens you see today were begun in 1532 by Jean le Breton, who
had been the French ambassador to Italy, and was the secretary of state to the
King and in charge of the construction of his chateau at Chambord.
The chateau changed hands many times in the next four hundred years and finally,
in 1906 was bought by Dr Joachim Carvallo, who set about restoring the chateau
to its previous grandeur.
It was he who planted the gardens we see today and the vegetable gardens bring
visitors from all over the world to wonder at the strange sight of everyday
vegetables growing in a formal garden.
There are forty one shades of green that exist in the natural plant world and
all can be seen here at Villandry during the summer season.
At other times of the year the gardens are always full of colour, with green
peas, lettuce, beans, eggplant, tomatoes, cabbage, peppers, celeriac, celery,
chard, and leeks, to name just a few of the many varieties grown here.
The ornamental cabbage now seen all over Europe was developed here.