Vendée: this weekend, take a stroll in the gardens for the good of your brain

By Stéphanie Hourdeau
Published on

May 3, 24 at 7:00

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Monday April 29. A spring morning awakens on the meadow ahead the castle of Nesmy, in the heart of La Roche-sur-Yon Agglomération. An ideal moment for guests, André and Elisabeth Chapelle, to welcome members and garden owners of the Association of Parks and Gardens of Vendée, as well as the local voice of Neurodon. The opportunity above all toannounce the Open Gardens operation for Neurodon.

May 4 and 5, 24 parks and gardens in Pays de la Loire open their gates to the public. A portion of the ticket prices will then be donated to brain research.

In Vendéethese are seven addresses that will welcome nature lovers during the weekend.

Support brain research by strolling

Elisabeth Chapelle, Alain Durante, André Chapelle, Olivier Rialland and Hubert David are ready for the Open Gardens on May 4 and 5 for the benefit of Neurodon ©Stéphanie HOURDEAU

For 21 years now, Neurodon has been an unmissable event to which Elisabeth and André Chapelle have been faithful since 2008.

The Neurodon was born from a partnership between the French parks and gardens committee and the federation for brain research. Together, these two entities had the idea of ​​opening the most beautiful gardens in France to the public for a weekend. An opportunity to discover the botanical richness of the landscape heritage and to show the soothing power of these walks on our human brain which remains very mysterious in the eyes of scientists. They need funds to unlock its secrets in order to find cures for neurological diseases that can affect us all such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Charcot, multiple sclerosis, etc.

A cause that the Vendée parks and gardens association naturally followed. Because for its president, there is no better way than to support this cause by strolling through the paths and alleys of the most beautiful Vendée gardens.

There is no point in keeping our gardens to ourselves. Our motivation is natural, that of sharing and of course supporting the Neurodon.

André Chapelle, president of the Vendée parks and gardens association

Gardens already in bloom

Nesmy Castle ©Stéphanie HOURDEAU

This first meeting of the year with the public is also a booster for garden owners, used to opening their green spaces each summer season. “The Neurodon is stepping up the pace to launch our season and perfect our gardens in order to welcome the public,” admits André Chapelle.

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And this year has not been the easiest for these guarantors of the local botanical heritage. “Because of the heavy rains of winter, nature took a month head start. And we are a month late,” notes Alain Durante, spokesperson for Neurodon in Vendée and owner of the Chaligny lodge, in Sainte-Pexine, who is also opening his domain on May 4 and 5.

Logis de Chaligny in Sainte-Pexine
Logis de Chaligny in Sainte-Pexine ©Logis de Chaligny

Weeds have in fact invaded the parks, requiring an enormous amount of maintenance work. “The positive thing is that the earth is more than malleable when it has to be moved,” breathes André Chapelle. “And the rhododendrons and azaleas are already in flower,” adds Elisabeth Chapelle.

A green spectacle worthy of the summer months who is ready for public viewing. A outing also in solidarity for a good cause since from each 5 euro entry ticket, two euros will be donated to the brain research.

In France, for twenty years, the approximately 100 parks and gardens have welcomed more than 322,000 visitors. These entries made it possible to repay more than €639,000 in donations for research and help finance 466 study projects which represent a cost of €31 million. It would then be a shame to deprive ourselves of these walks in these open gardens, for the good of our brain.

Seven gardens to contemplate

Château de la Flocelière in Sévremont
Château de la Flocelière in Sévremont ©DR

Of the 24 gardens open in the Loire region, Vendée acts as champion with seven gardens open this weekend. In addition to the park of the Château de Nesmy (2:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.), visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the rural world of the garden of the Logis de Chaligny in Sainte-Pexine (10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.), of the Château de la Flocellière in Sèvremont. (2 p.m. – 6 p.m.), at the Domaine de l’Auneau in Chantonnay (2 p.m. – 6 p.m.), in the Roblinière gardens in Landevieille (10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.), in the William Christie garden in Thiré (10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ), or in the Jardins du Loriot in Venansault (2:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.).

The gardens of William Christie in Thiré
The gardens of William Christie in Thiré ©Julien Gazeau
La Roblinière in Landevieille
La Roblinière in Landevieille ©©2017, Blandine du Parc

All information on the Open Gardens operation for Neurodon on frcneurodon.org

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