The Jardin des Plantes ,Nantes!

Well here I go again, been at home makes you think about where you have been and take a closer look at my blog. Well as usual i write on the many places visited and as always never quite tell all! Nantes is a city that is like one of my homes, not only for the visits with the family and friends that live there but on my business trips as well; needless to say been all over. However, there is so much beautiful things to write about my belle France that oh well here is another, the Jardin des Plantes of Nantes.

The nice Jardin des Plantes that I past my leisure times each time traveling by the train station! was created in 1807, and opened to the public in 1895 along the styles of the 19C with a mosaic or ceramic tradition and floral decorations with several cascades and water fountains; officially it is known as the botanical garden but still call by its old name. Open to the public. It is a botanical garden in the English style, serving among other things as an arboretum.

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The Jardin des Plantes is located in the Malakoff – Saint-Donatien district, actually a bit north but across from it as well of the SNCF train station. It covers an area of 7,328 hectares and is generally in the shape of a rectangle oriented north-south, bordered by: rue Gambetta; Place Sophie-Trébuchet; rue Stanislas-Baudry; rue Écorchard, place Charles-Le Roux and boulevard de Stalingrad; and rue Frédéric-Cailliaud.   It has five entrances: “porte des Camélias”, place Charles-Leroux (main entrance); the “Porte des Cerfs”, at the corner of Rue Écorchard and Rue Stanislas-Baudry; at rue Stanislas-Baudry, in the axis of rue Georges-Clemenceau; and rue Gambetta; and rue Frédéric-Cailliaud, in the axis of rue d’Allonville. Of course for my nostalgia I always entered thru the Rue Écorchard directly across from train station of Nantes entrance and have my lunch there at Café des Plantes always!!! (see post on transports).

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It was in 1687 that the first botanical garden in the city of Nantes was created. The master apothecaries are entrusted with the enjoyment of land located west of the city. This apothecaries’ garden is then located in the Marchix district (where the tour de Bretagne tower will be built in the 20C). Access is via rue Paré which still exists at the beginning of the 21C, the plot, which is completely urbanized thereafter, is crossed by rue de Budapest.  In 1719, the apothecaries’ garden became a royal garden of plants, subordinate to the King’s Garden. encouraged by the royal ordinance taken in 1726 by king Louis XV to subjugate the Captains of the Ships of Nantes to bring Seeds & Plants from the Colonies of Foreign Countries, for the Garden of Medicinal Plants established in Nantes. In 1806, a decree defining the limits of the botanical garden which is finally established on land adjacent to the former Ursuline convent. It planted in 1809 a superb Magnolia grandiflora known at the time to be one of the most beautiful in France. Another magnolia planted in the same place is now the oldest in the garden.

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By royal ordinance of 1820, king Louis XVIII decided to transfer the ownership of the garden of the Loire Inferieur department to the city of Nantes. It then aims to open the garden to the public. The garden was finally opened in 1829 to the public, at least its upper part. The middle part of the garden was finally opened to the public in March 1854. The creation of the palmarium, a large heated greenhouse for the development of exotic plants. The garden acquired a rose garden in 1895 with more than 600 varieties. During the 1930s, it was replaced by the current botanical beds.The realization of the orangery completed on in1900 and is located behind the palmarium grove, along rue Gambetta. In 2018-2019, as part of the development of the Esplanade Pierre-Semard , the garden was extended in its southern part over 320 m2. It incorporates part of the Rue Écorchard which has become pedestrian, and in particular the small triangular square located at its western end at the level of which a new entrance was drilled which was inaugurated in February 2019. At the same time, the main south entrance is modified, moved back of about 20 meters, the 3 meter wide portal is replaced by two openings totaling almost 6.50 meters, thus allowing the enlargement of Place Charles-Le Roux.

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There are bodies of water, fountains, a waterfall, bridges, statues, sculptures and pavilions. The garden layout elements are represented by perennials, shrubs and trees. Each year 75,000 plants are planted in the period from May 15 to June 20 for summer floral decoration. They come from a hundred varieties, and distributed in five floral mosaics. They are uprooted between mid-October and mid-November. The autumn-winter-spring floral decoration is made from bulbs of flowering plants, 65,000 plants are available for this time of year. The Jardin des Plantes contains a number of works of art. These are Le Premier Miroir ,this sandstone group represents a mother with her child in her arms, showing the latter, surprised and charmed, their image reflected by the calm surface of a body of water. Les Cerfs au repos or Deer at rest, this is an animal group sculpted in 1908 bringing together a deer, a doe and a fawn.

Monument to Jean-Marie Écorchard was inaugurated in 1892. During WWII, it was removed by the Nazis in order to be melted. In 1981, on the hundredth anniversary of the death of Dr Jean-Marie Écorchard, the town decided to have a copy of the original work made by Alain Douillard. Plate and medallion of Élisa Mercœur, this bronze medallion was inaugurated on December 5, 1909 to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the poet Élisa Mercœur. Monument to Jules Verne, the bust of Jules Verne in bronze and inaugurated on May 29, 1910. It disappeared during WWII and was replaced in 1945 by the current stone statue. La Moissonneuse or the harvester dates from 1940. There are two Wallace fountains in the Jardin des Plantes of the five in Nantes In the garden one is located to the southwest near the entrance of Rue Écorchard   near the statue of Les Cerfs au repos , which where I go in to the jardin des Plantes from the train station ,and the other is located to the northwest by rue Frédéric-Cailliaud near the Monument to Jules Verne.

The city of Nantes and its gardens on the Jardin des Plantes in English: City of Nantes on the Jardin des Plantes

The tourist office of Nantes on the Jardin des Plantes in English: Tourist office of Nantes on the Jardin des Plantes

This is a magnificent charming area of Nantes to even walks and see the wonderful architecture of buildings all around you, not to miss the Jardin des Plantes. A memorable place for me and already looking forward to pass by again! Hope you enjoy the brief tour.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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