Thursday, 15 October 2015

Le Jardin Public de Bayeux


On Monday I took myself off to Bayeux for the day.  "Ah, to see the Tapestry" you may be thinking.  Actually no, not this time.  This time I wanted to see and photograph some of the less well known but equally interesting parts of this beautiful Normandy town ...and that included a trip to the Public Gardens.  Click on Bayeux to read the blog I wrote about the other sites I saw.

The 2.6ha gardens are on the outskirts of the town and were opened in 1864 after the land was donated to the town for the purpose of creating a garden to teach horticulture.  That initial remit changed slightly as it was realised that actually what the town needed more was an area for leisure.  Today it serves both purposes.  There are open spaces, benches and play areas for leisure and over 400 trees and many more plants for horticultural study.  A self-guided botanical tour takes you around the garden and the numerous display panels in both English and French give lots of information about the plants and local area.


Despite the lateness in the year there were still plenty of flowers to be seen in the herbaceous borders.  Some of these borders also contained interesting sculptures for added interest.  My eye was also drawn to the canna in the right of the first picture and the banana plants in the second which serve nicely to indicate the generally mild climate of Bayeux as it is close to the sea.  We would struggle to grow these in Lenault as we are further inland and at a higher altitude.



I particularly liked the way the gardeners had included some vegetables in their planting schemes and I was sorely tempted to pinch a bit of the purple curly kale and ruby chard for dinner (I did resist!)


 




There was also a small glasshouse housing a collection or arid succulents and cacti.  I have to say these do not greatly interest me but I know some people love them so I have included them if this is you.



However, the star of the garden for me was a tree.  You could quite easily miss this tree as at first glance it really does not appear to be anything special.  In fact it looked rather dowdy with it's pendulous branches not displaying much autumn colour and it's rather lumpy shape.  Don't be fooled, though, this tree really is VERY special.



It is a weeping beech tree. Walk along the path and step through the drooping branches ... 



 ... and this is what you will discover ... 



It was like stepping into a magnificent cavern.
It was like someone had turned the tree upside down and the branches were in fact it's roots.
It was so completely different to the outside view of the tree. 
It was absolutely calm under its giant branches; a place to go to get away from the world for a while.
Tom, when he saw this photo, said it reminded him of Time.

For me it is possibly the best tree I have ever seen.  In 2000 it was awarded the "arbre remarquable de France".  All I can say is that if you are ever in Bayeux, by all means see the Tapestry but do also try and make time to visit the Public Gardens and see this truly amazing weeping Beech tree for yourself.  I do not think you will be disappointed.



Some Practicalities:

  • The Bayeux Public Gardens are open every day (9am to 8pm April to September and 9am to 5pm October to March) although they will be closed in times of heavy rain, when it is snowing or when the ground is thawing after a frost.  
  • Dogs and bicycles are not allowed.  
  • They are free to enter and there is roadside parking at both entrances 
  • Address: 55 Route de Port en Bessin, 14400 BAYEUX (with a second entrance on Rue du Chemin Vert)
  • Basic toilets on site but no refreshments.
  • More details on the Normandy website, here.


Mammsaurus HDYGGTravel Monkey

26 comments :

  1. It is like tree roots, reminds me of an illustration where all little woodland creatures are nestled under the ground under a great tree. Amazing tree. I've been voting for special trees in Wales recently, to find the tree deserving of special protection - mostly they are very, very old church yew trees. I'd love to visit Bayeux.

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    1. There is a Millennium Yew in a churchyard near us too that I must try and get some photos of soon.

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  2. My last comment on this post got gobbled up, hopefully you won't end up with two! It's nice to see some flowers in the mix as it proves they can be decorative too. The colour of that purple kale is so luxurious; I would have been tempted to pinch some too. Fantastic tree!

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    1. No idea where the other comment went - sorry!

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  3. Oh wow and oh wow - I want to visit Bayeux now just to be under that weeping beech tree. I was peering away at your earlier picture thinking hmmm what is Rosie going on about and then voila!

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    1. I do think on this post I definitely kept the best until last ;)

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  4. what a stunning place! and you are right.... it is indeed a magnificent tree. wow!

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    1. I was absolutely amazed when I walked underneath it/

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  5. What a shame that the town of Bayeux gets so overlooked. I have to admit when we went years ago we just went to see the tapestry and nothing else. The magnificent tree reminds me of Major Oak in Sherwood Forest.

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    1. I have a blog post brewing of all that Bayeux has to offer over and above The Tapestry.

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  6. What a gorgeous looking place. Might well be tempted to take a look here myself when we come next week :)

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  7. Wow! I am kicking myself for not visiting this when we are in Bayeux earlier in the year. We did mooch around the town but I missed this totally. Gutted! That weeping beech tree is outstanding, how far those branches reach!
    Thank you for joining again Rosie x

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    1. The branches reach out so far they have to be held up now but this in no way detracts from this fabulous tree. The gardens are on the edge of the town but I walked to them from the town centre via the cemetery.

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  8. Your description of the weeping tree is perfect, it really does look like roots, simply wonderful!

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    1. I could not believe the beauty of this tree once you walked underneath it.

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  9. In truth I clicked back to try and work out where your Sunday photo was taken but it was so worth it to see this awesome tree! What a treat to walk beneath it :)

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    1. It really is fabulous and so worth it's Remarkable Tree Status.

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  10. Wow that tree is something else - what fabulous structure. I also like how the veg are grown alongside the flowers and that curly kale is such a wondrous colour. Shame it doesn't keep it's colour when cooked though - but what a great adventure :) #hdygg

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    1. The gardens are only small but so worth a visit if you are in Bayeux. They make a lovely spot for a picnic lunch.

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  11. wow the weeping beech tree is stunning and what a lovely find

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  12. Replies
    1. Do go - it's such a lovely town with so much to see.

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  13. WOW this tree is really amazing! What a beautiful place. I have to visit Normandie sometime :D

    Thank you for linking up with #MondayEscapes :D

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    1. Yes do - it is a wonderful part of France with so much to see and do.

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