Thursday, 5 March 2009

The Best Bordeaux Wine Holidays – Les Jardins

Nearby the Chartrons Quays is the Jardin Botanique which is part of Bordeaux's first ever park, the Jardin Public. It is a classic French garden with a lake, arranged flowerbeds and 3,000 different plant species. Although the botanical garden's origins extend back to 1629, with the creation of Bordeaux's first medicinal garden, today's botanical garden dates to 1858.

The Jardin Public was created in 1746 and he first trees were planted in 1749. The architect Voisin built a terrace with three entrances, decorated by Masset and Laconfourque, while the architect J. Ange Gabriel designed the classical French gardens. This was a place for promenades and meetings - there was even a space for horse training. However, after the revolution, the gardens were transformed into the Champ de Mars where official ceremonies took place. The creation of the parks allowed the area of Saint-Seurin to be linked to the city, as well as the quarter of the Chartrons. Under Napoleon III the gardens were transformed into a traditional English formal garden, and extended. This is the present form of the gardens.

The botanical gardens contain more than 3000 plant species, both those indigenous to Aquitaine and exotic plants from North America, China and Japan. The garden's seed collection contains 2,000 species, and its herbarium contains about 85,000 specimens.

On the other side of the river is the new Jardin Botanique de la Bastide (quai de Queyries). This garden opened in 2003 and has 6 sections including an arboretum, fields of grain, an alley of vines and a water garden. It also contains greenhouses as well 11 landscapes representing the environments of Aquitaine, including dunes, cliffs, wet grassland and moorland. Six gardens in the south represent the landscapes of the left bank of the River Garonne.

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