Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Jardin des Plantes

The gardens are free!  However, the zoo attached to the eastern edge of the garden has an admission fee.  Large museums of paleontology and anthropology overlook the garden along with other University of Paris facilities.  Today there were lots of people enjoying the garden:  parents with children, students with backpacks, older folks, some with canes, and joggers and tourists with cameras!

The base of the statue at the entrance to the gardens gives dates from late 1700's, no doubt when the gardens changed from being the "Jardins du Roi" to the gardens of the people at the time of the French Revolution.

Long allees of carefully clipped trees line the walks.  The trees are just beginning to leaf out--the symmetry is so beautiful.

The plant collection is broad, covering both deciduous and evergreens from around the world.

In some sections plants are carefully labeled for study, while other sections seem to be planted just for the aesthetics of the blooms.

The Iceland poppies were certainly at their peak in the late afternoon light.

The poppies were planted in long beds which no doubt will be changed as the seasons roll along.


The bulb display in other long beds was moving on beyond its prime.  However, this arrangement of tulips with a branch of forsythia and white forget-me-nots was still beautiful.

These double white tulips are still at their peak, 

as were flowering fruit trees.

These spectacular blooms were on an old flowering Japanese cherry tree.

The tower on one of the museums hovers over this crab apple.

This new observatory, opened in 2010, is at the south end of the garden.  Adding new facilities to the garden certainly reflects the government's interest in both preserving and expanding the garden's collection.  The overall size of the gardens and the maintenance required to care for them is overwhelming to consider.  Actually, all of the public spaces in Paris are both well-groomed and heavily used, and they are quite large.  The budget for the gardens and open public spaces must be very generous!

On the east side of the garden we could catch a glimpse of these "wallabies" who were part of the zoo collection. These fellows seemed to be enjoying hopping about on their green grass and playing in the sprinklers (the white dots in the photo are the water drops)!  Like us, they found the gardens in Paris in the Spring delightful!

No comments:

Post a Comment