La Rochelle’s Jardin des Plantes (botanic gardens) is located behind the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle (Natural History Museum) right in the north of the town-centre. It is easily accessible on foot from the Vieux Port (old port) by walking for around 15 minutes along the arcaded streets: Rue du Palais, then Rue Chaudrier, until you get to Rue Alcide d’Orbigny where you will find the charming little gate to get in.
Flowers in the vegetable garden!
When you first walk in the garden there are a variety of colours and smells that tickle your senses. You must take time to wander around because there are so many things to see in this pretty garden: a delighted bumblebee dancing in a sunflower, alongside a blushing tomato plant, chard, parsley, daisies and chillies. The gardeners are really creative and every season they showcase nature’s treasures.
Right at the bottom of the garden you will find a greenhouse with a lovely flowery iron frame. Follow the smell of roses to the heart of the greenhouse where vines laden with grapes cling to the iron for support. You will feel like nature has taken its course here: flowers, fruit, butterflies, bees... such richness!
Calm and refreshing...
In the area in front of Fromentin school, it really feels like you are in an English garden because of all the roses. A Tiki can be found along one of the paths... which seems as surprised to see you as you are to see it!
The garden is tucked away in the shade and the flowery fragrance of magnolias, honeysuckles and jasmine titillate your nostrils. Take time out to sit on the refreshingly cool stone benches... you will definitely appreciate the peace and quiet of the garden even though its located near La Rochelle’s city centre.
Established in 1800
This botanic garden contains a wide variety of species from all over the world which are categorised based on where they are from. Some areas showcase plants that have been brought back from explorers’ great journeys, like Alcide d’Orbigny, that mirror the collections in the Museum d’Histoire Naturelle.
A little piece of heaven!
Free entry - Open from 1st October to 31st March: 7:30am-7pm; from 1st April to 30th September: 7:30am - 8:15pm