Botanical Garden of Nantes (The Jardin des Plantes) acts like a museum for a substantial collection of plants where the wild plants of Brittany grow along side those from America, Asia and Africa.
The Jardin des Plantes was begun in 1807 but it wasn't until 1865, after years of work by Hectot, Noisette and Ecorchard that the garden was opened in its present form. It is typical of the landscape gardens of the nineteenth century, and its informal style includes many waterfalls and lakes as well as traditional carpet bedding.
Other special features should be noted:
La Montagne: This artificial mound was created with the earth removed when the lake was dug out.
Hectot's Magnolia: This tree was planted in 1807 when it was already 16 years old and is the oldest tree in the garden. It represents the introduction of this plant to Nantes at the beginning of the 18th century.
The Palm House: It was constructed in 1898 and houses an exceptional collection epiphytic plants.
- The Orangery: During the winter, it is used to house plants in containers. During the summer season exhibitions are held. - The Cactus Houses: This refurbished winter garden now houses one of the most comprehensive collections of cacti and succulents in France. - The Ecole de Botanique: The diversity of wild plants in central Brittany is shown including some protected plants.
The Trial Garden: Situated close by, it displays to the public some of the plants (with their names) that are used every year in the bedding schemes
Collection of camellias: This plant, used as Nantes' symbol, is represented by a collection of 600 varieties. Old camellias are grouped together on the Clémenceau High School side; modern varieties and species are on the rue. F. Caillaud side.