While in or near Fougerolles, we kept seeing signs for le jardin de la fée verte (the garden of the green fairy).  Hmmm, didn’t really sound like our style.  However, having almost missed several other wonderful places because we thought they might be a bit twee, we finally decide to stop at Distillerie Paul Devoille and see the green fairy garden for ourselves.

And we saw…

a beautiful garden filled with the herbs used to make absinthe and other alcoholic drinks.  According to one critic:

Absinthe makes you crazy and criminal, provokes epilepsy and tuberculosis, and has killed thousands of French people. It makes a ferocious beast of man, a martyr of woman, and a degenerate of the infant, it disorganizes and ruins the family and menaces the future of the country?          Wikipedia

Is that true?  Or is it true that, as I like to say, absinthe makes the heart grow fonder?  🙂  Absinthe was banned for years, but now is back in favor with the realization that any high alcohol drink might have similar effects.  Have to admit, though, that we didn’t try the free sample.

© janet m. webb

At any rate, the garden was a gem, filled with herbs and signs telling of their use.  Thankfully my s-i-l is better than Google Translate and we learned a lot.

© janet m. webb

This is petite absinthe or petite wormwood, used together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other bontanicals to make absinthe, which is a spirit rather than a liqueur because it’s traditionally made without sugar.  Due to its high alcohol content, dilute it with water prior to drinking. Guess what the color is?  You’re right, green, although there is also clear absinthe.

© janet m. webb

In the background you see a drying shed or chalot.  I looked in vain for a link to information on chalots.  But you’ll be able to peek inside this one.

© janet m. webb

© janet m. webb

We are in the heart of La Route des Chalots. (The link is in French.)  We’ve seen a number of the chalots along the route on our drives.

© janet m. webb

It’s not all just herbs.

© janet m. webb

Here’s another insect house. I really love these!

© janet m. webb

And after all, this is a distillery.

© janet m. webb

I think it’s now time to go into the shop for a taste or two of something.  You don’t have to try absinthe.  There are plenty of other choices.  After that, we can stop in Fougerolles for a little something to eat.

© janet m. webb

for Jo’s Monday Walk


  1. Sheree says:

    How charming! That’s what I love about France, little treasures everywhere.

    • There often are, Sheree, and we love to search them out or, as is often the case, come upon them by accident. Some aren’t much, but many are great finds.


  2. Rupali says:

    Very interesting walk.

  3. Timelesslady says:

    I bookmarked this! So many good ideas I need to come back and incorporate a few into this year’s garden.

  4. marianallen says:

    Now *I* want an insect house! Well, a beneficial insect house. Beneficial to *me*, I mean, of course.

  5. ksbeth says:

    what a wonderful place, thanks for taking us there –

  6. Dan Antion says:

    All of the pictures are wonderful, Janet but the food is my favorite at the moment. I love what looks like an infographic on the construction/layout of the building, as well as the insect house.

  7. coolquilting says:

    great place! I have tried Absinthe once…I have read that the toxic component of it is no longer in the drink. It was actually quite good..and no side effects!!

    • Wikipedia has this to say about the so-called toxic effects: “Recent studies have shown that absinthe’s psychoactive properties have been exaggerated, apart from that of the alcohol.[8]” The garden is wonderful and perhaps on the next visit I’ll try absinthe.


  8. The name alone would have drawn me in! Thanks for going and sharing the pics!

  9. Enjoyed walking with you. Especially drawn by the insect house, which I am trying this year.

  10. scr4pl80 says:

    How interesting. I’m planning on a gnome garden in front of my studio but not to grow things, just as a fun thing too look at.

  11. Now that’s a garden. Cool place…great objects. A fairy must have guided you there?

  12. restlessjo says:

    Now you’re talking! Those are good-looking cakes, Janet 🙂 🙂 It sounds pretty but I should probably forgo the absinthe. I’m a bit clumsy and I’d only spill it, and would it wash out? 😦 Sorry I’m a bit late here. Lots going on at present.

    • You certainly don’t have to have any absinthe, Jo. We didn’t. They have some other marvelous liqueurs and other goodies, so you’re allowed just to enjoy the garden…and a cake or two, of course. 🙂

      You’re not late at all, even if you arrived tomorrow.

  13. […] via Monday walk…the green fairy garden — This, that and the other thing […]

  14. Lignum Draco says:

    A lovely find. I’ve also fallen into the trap of bypassing thinsg that don’t sound or seem interesting only to realise later (from google) I probably should have looked in.

  15. joey says:

    Great share!
    I had real absinthe many nights in a row many moons ago. The black market variety. I loved it. I don’t suppose one should drink it every night for years, but on vacation… 😀 I like the faux stuff, too, of course.
    I love the garden. What a wonderful place, not too twee at all! Love the insect house. I’d like to have one in the back 40.
    Pastry! Oh my word, look at the glazes! I have no proper dessert, Janet! I must go have some applesauce or something now 🙂

    • I’ll have to have a sample next time I’m there and I’ll let you know how I like it. The garden is wonderful. I’d like to have an insect house as well, but it probably will never happen.

      As for the pastries, they are delicious!! I just had some chocolate almond milk, which is a bit like dessert, right? 🙂 But I did have a rather nice almond croissant today and that does count. 🙂

      Sleep well, Joey.

  16. Tina Schell says:

    Hmmmm, count me in for the post-walk sweets!

  17. All beautiful, but I love the insect house and the pastry selection. 🙂

  18. Oh, what a neat stop! I love the little armchair tour.

    I really like those insect hotels too. I’m going to get one once I move for the new backyard. I found some on Amazon.

    Those tarts and cakes look yummy!

  19. […] Monday walk…the green fairy garden […]

  20. […] around again and there’s the chalot.  You saw one of these before in the Garden of the Green Fairy in Fougerolles, where the herbs for absinthe were drying.  The Route des Chalots is in this area, but I […]