The 1992 opening of the Parc Floral tied in with an international flower festival, Les Floralies Internationales de Bordeaux. Over the 20-or-so ensuing years, the 50-acre landscaped park and its neighbouring 320-acre wood, le Bois de Bordeaux, have become the territory of joggers, ramblers and cyclists, and cultural events are also occasionally held there.
Despite having long been aware of the place, it wasn’t until researching this item that I took the time out to visit the Parc, and was pleased to be greeted by information panels providing lots of detailed information about flora, fauna, the number of gardeners (14), the low ambient noise levels (45 decibels), the electric vehicles used by maintenance staff, biodiversity, biotopes and lots of other words I had to google. What I wasn’t expecting though was to also be greeted by a (small) herd of cows.
|Eagle-eyed readers may spot the Pont d'Aquitaine in the distance.|
From then on the sights are perhaps more typical of a “floral park”. A 5,000-square-metre rose garden features no less than 479 different types of roses and, according to the official literature, “retraces the history of the rose from ancient times to the present day”. The roses weren’t yet in bloom when I was there but I can imagine the full-colour version of the rose garden must be impressive to behold.
Nearby is a section known as the "vine collection" comprising a wide range of cépages (or types of grape: Cabernet, Cabernet franc, Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot gris, Pinot noir and many others from Eastern Europe, Israel and North America), some of which are either very rare or very old. The grapes are not picked or transformed into wine though - most are consumed by the birds! The Parc is also home to 65 types of peonies (pivoines in French), a fine collection of magnolia trees, irises (180 varieties) and rhododendrons (150 different types).
|The vine collection and rose garden.|
However, my trek through the Parc Floral was saving the best until last. In a section known as “jardins des villes jumelles” (the twin city gardens), eleven different areas have been designed to make visitors feel as if they have been magically transported to other parts of the world. Built around items which have been donated by the twin cities of Bordeaux, the gardens manage to recreate a little bit of Germany, Spain, Japan, Morocco and a whole host of other exotic destinations!
|Clockwise from top left: the Casablanca (Morocco), Madrid (Spain), Munich (Germany) and Québec City (Canada) gardens.|
|Clockwise from top left: Ashdod (Israel), Fukuoka (Japan), Bristol (UK) and Los Angeles (US).|
- Find it on the Invisible Bordeaux map:
- Parc Floral, Avenue du Golf, Bordeaux.
- Cet article est également disponible en français !