Diane de Poitiers in Chenonceau: melons and silkworms
King Henri II's mistress, Diane de Poitiers, owned the estate in 1547. She laid out fruits orchard and vegetable plot: currant bushes, violets, wild strawberries, onions… and even exotic fruits and vegetables, pretty rare at that time, like artichokes and melons. Those one were kept only for kings’ table… And don’t forget the 200 white mulberry trees, for the future silkworm farm. And finally, Diane put Philibert Delorme in charge of building the bridge imagined by the former owner, Thomas Bohier. When the king died, Diane was all alone: king's widow, Catherine of Medici, forced her to exchange Chenonceau for Chaumont-sur-Loire castle. And the queen added two galleries on the bridge, she organized wonderful parties: in 1565, when she received her son Charles IX, or in 1557, a 100 000 livres party! Those celebrations were magnificent orgies, where king was dressed as a woman, women dressed in men suit, with little dogs, monkeys, parrots...