Tag Archives: nantes

Nantes “Jardin des Plantes” Part 3: the Botanical Gardens

My first post on the Jardin des Plantes in Nantes was about the hothouses and scientific garden, the second one was on the art and statuary, this one focuses on the theme gardens and plantings.

Meandering through the park, from the scientific garden, I first came across the shade garden, ferns and hostas surrounded by an amazing variety of evergreen shrubs and trees.

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The theme garden “the Mountain” is inspired by 19th century gardens such as Kew garden in England, and was installed in 1847 by the then director of the Jardin des Plantes. A labyrinth of plantings guides a circular ascension to the top and a lookout point to the Loire river.

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Water features dot the park.

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Thousand of annuals, perennials and shrubs create lush borders year round. Photos below show just a small sampling and include gunnera, pennisetum, gingko, silk tree, hydrangea borders and mixed borders throughout the park.

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Gingko Biloba
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Japanese grass
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Silk tree
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Gunnera
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Ornamental grasses
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Pennisetum and annuals
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Hydrangea hedge
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Gunnera

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Nantes “Jardin des Plantes” Part 2: Art at the Botanical Gardens

My first post on the Jardin des Plantes in Nantes was about the hothouses and scientific garden, this one focuses on the  art installations and statues.

Art ranges from classic to modern with planted “totems” and an installation by Claude Ponti.  Also dotting the park are other features, some quirky, such as a  bird house, wavy benches, or a lookout point with a frame for photo taking.

Not only are the planting stunning, but this garden offers unexpected and delightful surprises at every turn.

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Brittany Canals, Cottage Gardens at the Locks – Part 2

This post features more of the lovely cottage gardens dotting the canal at the locks in Brittany near Nantes.

The first garden has a lush display of roses, palms, dahlias and perennials, as a large trumpet vine (Bignonia) covers the pergola (in the last photo)

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Next is an old fashioned garden mixing edibles such as the pumpkin patch with a cutting garden, and embellished with some perennials as well. Young apple trees are tutored and espaliered.

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Brittany Canals, Cottage Gardens at the Locks – Part 1

While visitors may on occasion complain about the weather, the gardens of Brittany benefit from abundant rainfall and moderately high temperatures in the summer. The Brittany countryside is lush and green year round, and so are the gardens. I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days on a boat navigating the Canal of Nantes in Southern Brittany.

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The canal is dotted with locks every couple of kilometers, and each lock has a lockmaster house, many of which display lush front gardens in a casual cottage style.

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The next one mixes banana trees (musa basjoo probably) with perennial borders in shades of yellow and orange on one side (black eyed susans, marigolds), pinks and blues on the other.

The green circle on the sign indicates there is someone to assist you through the lock; a blue one would mean you can go through but it is self service, red indicates it is closed.

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Another garden contrasts the blue shutters so typical of Brittany with lush mixed perennial borders.

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The last one features a quirky bird sculpture in a mixed border next to red nasturtiums for a touch of whimsy.

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