Staying in the Tarn département, in Castres you will find the garden of the former bishop's palace, designed by André Le Nôtre
in the 17th century. Comprising intricate designs of boxwood topiary, it plays subtly with perspective and lays out its magnificent order in front of the bishop's palace, which has been home to the Musée Francisco Goya since 1894.
Also magnificent are the perspectives of the lawns that form an extension to the elegant architecture of the Château de Merville near Toulouse. Running alongside these long carpets of manicured lawn there is an amazing boxwood maze : 6 km long in all, it is unrivalled anywhere in Europe.
Staying in the Toulouse area, don't miss the garden at the Château de Laréole, an outstanding example of a Renaissance château. It was restored in the early 18th century, when the extensive grounds were added, landscaped to perfection according to the rules of composition that gave the gardens of Versailles their notoriety.