Tag Archives: japanese garden

Castle of Trevarez in France: The Japanese Gardens

The castle of Trevarez near Chateauneuf du Faou in northern Brittany, France, is one of the last great castles built in France. Construction began in 1892 for a French politician and brought together all the faste and excess of the Belle Epoque, frescoes, carvings, marble, mosaics, ornate panels and fireplaces.

It is often referred to as the pink or red castle, because of the pink color it gets from the bricks used.  It was unfortunately bombed in the 1940s, and has not been occupied since, but it is being renovated by the government who purchased it in the 70s.

The gardens were neglected as well for many years and have been slowly brought back to their original glory, one area at a time. The grounds are extensive, with stables, a large wash house, theme gardens, formal gardens and much more.

In this post, I am featuring the Japanese gardens.There were originally two Japanese gardens: a smaller one nearer the main entrance and a larger one at the other end of the domain on the other side of the castle, but this latter has yet to be redone the way it used to be and after many years of neglect very little is left of it and the woods have reclaimed most of it.

At the entrance of the Japanese garden is a small pavilion; note the intricate paving, the bamboo, and water feature.

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Past the pavilion is the Japanese rock garden with plantings and rock river beds for the stream.

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Brest Botanical Gardens Part 1: The Park

In northern Brittany, the Botanical Gardens in Brest enjoy a privileged location in a small valley with a stream throughout, and creating a microclimate allowing endangered species to grow with additional protection. Long and narrow, these gardens are divided into the park area at one end, end thebotanical gardens proper at the other.

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In this post, I am featuring the park. Common to both areas is the stream and therefore an abundance of water features. The park has the feel of a woodland garden, with more greenery, bamboos, mature trees, gunnera and the likes, than landscaped borders and flowers. The choice of plants as well as the use of rocky elements and bridges give it very much the feel of a Japanese garden, in certain areas of the park in particular.

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Woodland Shade and Bamboo Garden

The far end of this property has been is planted with tall trees and has bee turned into a woodland shaded garden accented with statues and still lives, and edged in a bamboo grove transitioning to the rest of the garden. Other plantings such as Japanese maple emphasize the Asian garden feel of this garden.

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Unusual Japanese Rock Garden Roundabout in France

I am endlessly surprised and often delighted at the thought and effort French towns put into landscaping their roundabout. I will be writing other posts on more of those roundabouts, some with tropical plantings, other with cottage garden good looks.  This is one is inspired by Japanese gardens.

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France: A Japanese Zen Garden on an Island in Nantes

The island of Versailles on the Erdre river in Nantes was man made in 1831 and originally used by naval builders. It was transformed in 1983 into a Japanese garden with three Japanese inspired buildings, one a café and the others used for exhibits about the river and its environment.

The garden features meandering paths, benches, a waterfall, bamboo groves, water features, and numerous shade tolerant plants including hostas, as well as spireas and a variety of evergreens.

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