Chateau of Trevarez

The Chateau of Trevarez in Brittany

This year has been a scramble from the beginning – photography exhibition, two weeks in Brittany, a working trip to Northern France, and volunteering and photographing with Open Garden Squares Weekend in London. Blogging is out of order, but posting on Brittany is next and I must share with you the wonderful gardens at the Chateau of Trévarez which is situated on a hillside overlooking the Aulne Valley. I was in Brittany to photograph the Churches but took a day out to visit these gardens – and I plan to do the same next year!

The Chateau of Trevarez
The Chateau of Trevarez
The Chateau of Trevarez
The Chateau of Trevarez
The stables of the Chateau of Trevarez
The stables of the Chateau of Trevarez

The original Chateau was built in the 16C and 17C. Today’s building dates from 1893-1904 and was commissioned by James de Kerjégu, a politician  The domain of Trévarez covers over 85 hectares and in the vast parklands are a classical regular garden, an Italian style garden, a picturesque garden with cascades and a recently planted contemporary garden. Trévarez also has a heather collection of national importance, apparently. The gardens feature different plants during the seasons: camellias from November to April, rhododendrons (National Collection) in April and May, Hydrangeas and Fuchsias in the summertime...’. The Chateau was occupied by German forces during WWII and bombed by the RAF, but has been restored and both the Chateau and parklands are open to the public at advertised times. 

The Camellias were just going over when I visited in early May, but I found a few, hidden in the bushes. The collection was started in 1970s and now includes, incredibly, hundreds of varieties.

The rhododendrons were glorious! Flowers of all colours – along the walkways, hidden in the woods, in clumps in groves – unbelieveably beautiful.

Rhododendrons at The Chateau of Trevarez

Rhododendrons at The Chateau of Trevarez

Rhododendrons at The Chateau of Trevarez

Rhododendrons at The Chateau of Trevarez

Rhododendrons at The Chateau of Trevarez

Rhododendrons at The Chateau of Trevarez

 

I think this was the ‘Romantic Garden’, built in a quarry and with a waterfall and river. Steps from the garden lead up to a more formal vista and leat leading to the Chateau.

The quarry garden in the Chateau of Trevarez

The quarry garden in the Chateau of Trevarez

The quarry garden in the Chateau of Trevarez

The long vista above the quarry garden
The long vista above the quarry garden

The woods are … beautiful

In the woods of the Chateau of Trevarez

In the woods of the Chateau of TrevarezIn the woods of the Chateau of Trevarez

In the woods of the Chateau of TrevarezAnd alongside the Chateau…

The long water basin, TrevarezDo visit this bautiful parkland if you are in Brittany – I will be returning in the autumn, and again in the spring next year!

Further information
European Garden Heritage

South African plants in the Georges Delaselle Gardens

The Georges Delaselle Gardens on the Ile de Batz

The story of the garden began in 1897 when a Parisian businessman, Georges Delaselle, visited the island and was captivated by the exotic plants brought there by sailors. He decided to create his own exotic garden and in 1918 moved permanently to the island. As so often happens, on his death the gardens gradually fell into disrepair and were only rescued in 1987 with the formation of the Friends and the support of the Conservatoire du Littoral. Today there are more than 2,500 species in the garden, from five continents. 

The Brest National Botanical Conservation Centre

‘…The project then begins in the 1970s with the idea to create the first world botanical garden dedicated to the conservation of endangered plants – Jean-Yves Lesouëf The gardens were built in the Stang Alar Valley, previously a rubbish dump and quarry.

‘…The most precious treasures in the Botanical Conservatory Garden are found in tropical greenhouses: the largest concentration in France of endangered plants! …In the 1,000 m² of this area of ​​discovery, 95% of plants are threatened with extinction, some of them are extinct in nature. That is to say, they can no longer be found here or in other botanical gardens and conservatories…’ – what a frightening thought.

The Greenhouses lead visitors through different climatic regions of the world: from the wet tropical mountains –

to subtropical oceanic islands

through the dry tropics – 

Botanical Gardens in BrestBotanical Gardens in Brest

and out through the wet and steaming tropical rain forests.

Botanical Gardens in BrestThe gardens themselves are stunning and there were lots of people just wandering, sitting, running, photographing and generally enjoying the transformation of a ‘derelict’ valley into a peaceful and beautiful park.

The lake is at the Greenhouse end of the Park and seems to have been created from the quarries, fed by the river which wanders along the valley.

Botanical Gardens in Brest

Botanical Gardens in Brest

Botanical Gardens in BrestBotanical Gardens in Brest

The Gunneras were amazing, growing along the River, as were the tree ferns, the bamboos, and the magnolias. It was all beautiful.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Above all there are numerous unusual and beautiful trees.

Botanical Gardens in BrestBotanical Gardens in BrestBotanical Gardens in Brest
You must visit this park if you possibly can while you are in Brittany – I would certainly return.

Further information
Brest Conservatoire National Botanique

Jardin Exotique et Botanique, Roscoff

The Jardin Exotique et Botanique at Roscoff is an extraordinary garden which started in 1986 when the Department of Finistère bought the Roc d’Hievec and gifted it to Roscoff. Two remarkable men, Louis Kerdilès and Daniel Person, then created a garden which today is pure delight, with plants from around the world and nearly one third from South Africa – so I felt at home!

I started in the hothouses where the succulents were astounding.

Jardins Botanique et Exotique, Roscoff

Jardins Botanique et Exotique, Roscoff

Jardins Botanique et Exotique, Roscoff

Jardins Botanique et Exotique, Roscoff

Jardins Botanique et Exotique, Roscoff

Jardins Botanique et Exotique, Roscoff Jardins Botanique et Exotique, Roscoff

 

Further information
Le Jardin Botanique et Exotique de Roscoff

Dahlias in The Thabor Gardens, Rennes

The Thabor Gardens, a wonderful 10-hectare Park/Gardens, is in the centre of Rennes – a must-visit! I wrote about the Gardens on the travel blog and here I would like to share the dahlias, which were in full bloom and quite simply spectacular.

16-9-2-thabor-gardens-rennes-lr-8959

Dahlia 'New Baby'
Dahlia ‘New Baby’

Dahlia in The Thabor Gardens

Dahlia 'Cartouche'
Dahlia ‘Cartouche’

Dahlias in The Thabor Gardens, Rennes

Dahlia 'Faro'
Dahlia ‘Faro’
Dahlia 'Charles de Gaulle'
Dahlia ‘Charles de Gaulle’
Dahlia 'Charles de Gaulle'
Dahlia ‘Charles de Gaulle’

Dahlias in the Thabor Gardens, Rennes

 

Dahlia 'Eurydice'
Dahlia ‘Eurydice’
Dahlia 'Toupie'
Dahlia ‘Toupie’
Dahlia 'Emory Paul'
Dahlia ‘Emory Paul’
Dahlia 'Capricio'
Dahlia ‘Capricio’
Dahlia 'Violeta'
Dahlia ‘Violeta’

Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne – Jardins du Crepuscule

The last part of the Parc is The Twilight Garden, representing Autumn which I assume means the last cycle of life, or as an actor once said ‘the final act’. I must admit I did not understand this part of the garden and leave you with some plants and sights which caught my eye but I can’t say anything intelligent about what I was seeing!

Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne – Jardins Romantiques

The Jardins Romantiques is the second garden in the Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne and, as in 2015, I spent a lot of time in the Garden of the Rising Sun. But this year we walked through Le Bois Décisif and round the opposite side of the lake.

Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne – Garden of Arcady

As in 2015 the first day in France included a visit to the Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne. But unlike 2015 this was a more selective visit – I didn’t try to see everything in the garden.

Plan of the Gardens (http://www.parcs-et-jardins.net/plan.html)

The entrance to the Parc is down the Alley of White Pearls, a path lined with Hydrangea Paniculata and the beginning of the Garden of Arcady. The three sets of gardens are apparently meant to evoke the three seasons of LifeSpring, Summer, and Autumn.

Hydrangea Paniculata at the entrance to the Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne

Cornus Variegata Hydrangea Paniculata

The Walled Garden or Cité Antique looked rather dry and somewhat neglected this year, but there were still some pretty things to see and enjoy such as the Greek Theatre and some of the flowers. But overall it was crying out for attention.

16-9-1-parc-botanique-de-haute-bretagne-8697

The Walled Garden

Jjust outside The Walled Garden were two beautiful flowering Hibiscus, and a Persian Silk Tree (Albizia Julibrissin). The tree is lovely but seems to be regarded as an invasive pest in many parts of the world, with recommendations not to plant it.

16-9-1-parc-botanique-de-haute-bretagne-lr-8716

Persian Silk Tree (Albizia)
Persian Silk Tree (Albizia)

I liked the shaped bamboo cones in the Lotus Pond, but on this day there were no lotus flowers.

Bamboo cones in the Lotus Pond

The Secret Garden was absolutely wonderful! The Hydrangea Paniculata were still white, and abundant. It is apparently based on a Mediaeval idea of a secret garden for quiet contemplation.

The Secret Garden, Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne

Hydrangea Paniculata Hydrangea Paniculata

In the Garden of Dionysus there were these wonderful plants – a variety of Hedychium Coccineum – sorry, that is all I can manage! And I also found some beautiful blue mop head hydrangeas.

Hedychium Coccineum Hedychium Coccineum Hedychium Coccineum Blue hydrangeas

The Jardins Romantiques and Crépuscules will follow in the next posts!

Further information
Brief commentaries on the different ‘rooms’ in the garden

Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne, final

A systematic exploration of the third section of the garden, the Jardins du Crepuscules, escaped me. I wandered through the woods, noticed the Prehistoric Garden, and then went in search of a cup of coffee. Now if the cafe in front of the Chateau had been open…