Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Le Jardin des Plantes - Jardin Botanique in Caen, Normandy


A friend and I recently took ourselves off to a garden I have wanted to visit for along time - Le Jardin des Plantes in Caen also now know as the Jardin Botanique de Caen ... and what a delight of a plant day we were in for.  We were a touch worried that we would wilt in the heat that was forecast but we need not have worried as there are so many shady paths we could wander along as well as umpteen benches for us to rest on and admire the plants.

A botanical garden is described as:
 "une institution qui rassemble des collections documentées de végétaux vivants à des fins de recherche scientifique, de conservation et d'éducation".

"an institution which gathers collections of documented living plants for the purposes scientific research, conservation and education"

This botanical garden fits this brief perfectly.  It has been developed in the 5ha of an old quarry and today is home to over 8,000 plant species, some of which are exceedingly rare.  Don't worry if your plant ID skills are not up to scratch as many of the plants are clearly labelled with larger panels for some of the rarer specimens ... although these small information panels are only in French.  It is linked to Caen University for scientific work and runs various activities (Current ones include a bat evening and scarecrow making) to get people interested in the world of plants and how important they are.

Within the 5ha there are many different types of garden as well as art features and children's play areas.  These garden include:

  • A Normandy garden of local plants
  • Themed gardens such as pants used in medicine, cooking etc
  • A parkland area complete with a Giant Sequoia that has a lightening conductor as it is so tall
  • A greenhouse of exotic plants
  • An orangerie
  • Les Rocailles - plants of peat bogs and mountains

Without further words then I give you just some of the many photos I took.  They are in no particular order but which I hope give you a feel of this wonderful garden. 
(clicking on the images will make them bigger)


Lacecap Hydrangea

Late summer herbaceous border

Echinacea in the medicinal garden

Another herbaceous border

Rainbow art installation

Floral butterfly

A centre for botanic study

Information panel for the very rare Wollemi Pine

Hydrangeas and summer annuals

Can you tell I like hydrangeas?!

Help needed here - does anyone know what this plant is?


Practical Information


Le Jardin des Plantes is open every day except Christmas Day and New Year's Day, opening at 8am week days and 10am weekends and bank holidays.  Closing times vary with the seasons and more details can be found on their website.  It is free to enter, dogs are welcome on leads and there are plenty of places to picnic but be aware there are no refreshments available.  The toilets were clean and also free.  There is no car park although there are spaces near the main entrance reserved for these with disabilities and we found ample free parking on local side roads (do remember, though, that in France you must park in the same direction as the traffic flow or risk a 17€ fine).  


Having visited once we definitely want to go back again - it was too hot to go in the greenhouses (which are only open in the afternoons) and we want to see how the garden changes with the seasons.  For anyone who loves gardens and the plants they hold I really do recommend you visit Le Jardin des Plantes when in the area.  

And for more garden inspiration do head over to Mammasaurus and the How Does Your Garden Grow linky and for more great places people love visit #LoveWhereILive from Entertaining Elliot

Entertaining ElliotMammasaurus

Expat Life with a Double Buggy
Packing my Suitcase
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36 comments :

  1. Oooh how nice that you live in France! This garden looks really pretty, I love looking at flowers. And that rainbow installation looks cool, I can imagine my boy swinging off them! #lovewhereilive Sabrina x

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    1. Sadly there was a note on it saying not to swing from it!

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  2. I love botanical gardens - especially when they have labels on many of the plants so I can actually learn their names. Looks like a beautiful place to visit.

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  3. that floral butterfly is a show stopper! what a great way to spend the day

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    1. I am looking forward to a return visit in spring.

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  4. I had no idea about the parking in the same direction as traffic thing!

    It looks lovely there - that floral butterfly is beautiful and you will never veer hear me grumble about photos of hydrangeas. Ever.

    Ever.

    I must come back to France soon Rosie!

    Lovely to have you joining in again and I hope your back feels better soon - did you get to the osteopath? x

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    1. I did - and physio and yes, you do need to come back soon.

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  5. That looks a great day out - and I'm also taken by that butterfly, how clever :) #hdygg

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    1. Merci :) I wonder if it will be there next year or of they do something different each year?

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  6. I can spend ages in a botanic garden, I have Ness and Liverpool as my two closest ones and really need to take a trip there soon. I am really interested in plants used for medicine and cooking and the rainbow art installation looks fun.

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  7. I think most of us would need help identifying 8000 plant species! What an amazing place. I'm sure a day is not long enough and it will be interesting to see how it changes over the seasons. Beautiful. #hdygg

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  8. What an amazing and beautiful place to visit. And LACECAP I've been seeing these hydrangea everywhere and wondering what on earth they were called, thank you!

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  9. the art installation is lovely, especially love the rainbow

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  10. Looks lovely. I always enjoy searching out botanical gardens, they're like a green lung in many of our cities.

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  11. My brother lives nearby and I am ashamed to say I have never been.... Next time... maybe.

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  12. Replies
    1. It was fabulous and I am looking forward to future visits.

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  13. Well that's a shame! I didn't know I was so close by to this the other week! I really like the butterfly, and I do like hydrangea too.

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  14. What a stunning place. I love the huge butterfly!

    Thank you so much for linking up with #MondayEscapes :D

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  15. We visited Normandy last summer and even went to Caen. Had I known this "jardin" was there, we would have visited. Beautiful pics! Thanks for sharing. I miss Normandy all of a sudden!
    www.queenbcreativeme.blogspot.com

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    1. You will just have to come back for another visit LOL

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  16. I do love visiting botanic gardens with my daughter - always lots of room for her to run around and it's usually lovely and shady in the sunshine. Caen's gardens sound fabulous too. And I never knew that about parking in France! Thanks for linking up to #citytripping

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    1. Yes, we had to find out the hard way about parking! Caen's botanic garden is very child friendly with several play areas and plenty of grassy areas to run around on. No "Keep off the Grass" signs.

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  17. I do love a good botanical garden! They are such a welcome sanctuary in cities - somewhere to get some peace and enjoy the beauty of nature. Fantastic pictures. That's pretty harsh regarding the parking - and I thought the rules were bad in the UK! Thanks for linking up to #citytripping

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    1. The parking does make sense, though, as it is safer ... it's just really annoying that when you find a spot on the wrong side of the road by the time you have gone round the block to park it may well have gone!

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  18. Oh isn't it glorious, on a cold miserable night, to look at beautiful flowers and plants- love the butterfly.
    #cirytripping

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    1. Very true - I may have a nosy through some of my summer gardening posts later this evening.

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