Even though he is now over eighty, Christian de la Sablière continues to pursue his passions and would not consider for a moment putting aside work on his beloved flowers! In 2010, his daughter Virginie joined him at Boutiguery to take up the torch.
As a young girl, she sometimes found that the garden took up quite a lot of her father’s time and energy, but as an adult it has become a passion for her, too.
Like her forebears, she set out to travel the world before returning to settle on the banks of the Odet. She laid the groundwork well for her return, taking up landscaping studies and passing her BTS certificate in Angers with the goal of further developing the park.
Over the course of two years, she successfully convinced any sceptics of the fact that her rightful place was at Boutiguery.
And if, at first, her father was a little apprehensive about her handling power tools, just recently, on the occasion of her thirtieth birthday, he offered her a chainsaw!
Today, Virginie’s goal is to open the park further to the public so that it may be appreciated and admired more widely.
She welcomes numerous groups throughout the year for guided tours in the park. At Boutiguery, the height of the blooming period is in April and May, but Camellias and Magnolias begin to light up the landscape as early as March.
The Japanese Azaleas follow suit, with the Chinese Azaleas next in line. Meanwhile, the Rhododendrons prepare themselves to put on their multicoloured display while the Wisteria vines, long-established around the house, set out to conquer new territory in nearby trees.
Through the end of June, the park is a veritable explosion of colour. With the aim of making a transition from summer to the changing autumn foliage, Virginie is considering the gradual introduction of other species which will prolong the period during which blooming plants may be admired in the park.
She also organises some visits around the theme of trees in autumn. The 400-square-metre greenhouse allows plant lovers to discover new favourites and collectors’ varieties, and offers a setting for botanical workshops in which they can come together to discuss their interests.
A range of Chinese Azaleas is being created with the goal of spreading the popularity of varieties created in the park.
In three or four years, gardeners will be able to take home and plant Azaleas created at Boutiguery,
and eventually, with a bit of patience, the famous large-flowered tetraploid rhododendrons that Christian de la Sablière has successfully obtained as the result of multiple hybridisations.
In this way, the magic of Boutiguery will spread to gardens around the world,
marking the beginning of other journeys!