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Sightseeing in Languedoc
The Dragon Valley at the Bambouseraie
Home > Explore The Region > Sightseeing > Bambouserarie

The Bambouseraie bamboo park

 

The Bambouseraie is just outside the town of AnduzeLooking for a day away from the heat of the beach? Then head for the leafy shade of the Bambouseraie - a gorgeous park of towering bamboo forests, Japanese Maples and Bonzai, funky tree-art, a Laotian bamboo village, a water garden and bamboo maze.

You might think Languedoc a strange place to find one of the world's most beautiful Asian gardens. But that's basically what the Bambouseraie is. This cool, lush park is also one of the most beautiful and relaxing places I've ever visited, with paths that wind through thousands of giant bamboos that reach 25 meters in height, gently rustling in the wind.

 

 

 A little history...

The Bambouseraie was created in 1855 by renown French botanist Eugène Mazel, as a home for the hundreds of species of Bamboo and other rare plants from Asia that he had collected. Unfortunately, he went bankrupt, and the park was sold after his death (1890) to Gaston Nêgre. Gaston's son inherited the park and opened it up to the public (taking the bold step at the time of charging an entrance fee). It has since survived floods, frosts and wars, and is now run by Muriel Nègre, Gaston's grand-daughter.

 

The Bambouseraie also extremely professionally run - with consoles dotted along the pathways that offer recorded descriptions of the plants immediately around you (in 6 languages). The plants are extremely well labeled, the pathways are beautiful manicured and the signage is clear and easy to follow.

 

The Bambouseraie's attractions:The Bambouseraie offers a number of leafy attractions to visitors:

 

The bamboo forest

 

""The bamboo forest: There are scores of bamboo varieties growing all over the park, but it's the bamboo forests that really take your breath away. The trees tower to 25 meters in height - and some grow to 20cm in width. (Bamboo is a form of grass, and the fastest-growing plant in the world. Some can grow over 1m in height in 24 hours.) The forest here is enormous, and the thousands of trees sway gently in the breeze, making that gorgeous sound only bamboo can make.

 

The Laotian village

 

""The Laotian village: Bamboo is used to make all sorts of weird and wonderful things (such as scaffolding on modern skyscrapers in Asia). To demonstrate the point, the park comissioned one of their Laotian gardeners to build a small village, entirely out of Bamboo. The park claims the village 'faithfully recreates in every detail traditional Laotian home architecture and decoration'. The village even sports its own Vietnamese Pot-bellied Pig enclosure.

 

Dragon Valley

 

""Dragon Valley: From Laos we move on to Japan - and a magnificent Japanese garden replete with dark red maples, sculptured conifers, and a wooden temple - with a river running through the centre of it all. The valley is bordered on all sides by the bamboo forest (see photo above). The soft green landscaping you can see in the photo isn't grass - it's a dwarf bamboo that creates a foot-high carpet of green. Absolutely gorgeous.

 

The Bonsai garden, Koi, and bamboo maze

 

""The Bonzai Garden: A pretty garden of bonzai trees just next to the park's glasshouses. Water from the Gardon river (cleverly delivered throughout the park by a system of canals) passes under them and over a tiny waterfall.

 

""The Water Garden: What would a Japanese-themed garden be without Koi Carp? Here, you'll find huge Koi swimming lazily in ponds teeming with water lilies, Egyptian papyrus and other aquatic reeds and floating plants.

 

""The Bamboo Maze: Hampton Court goes to China with this incredible maze made entirely of densely-packed Japanese bamboo. It's pretty big, and I got thoroughly lost in it. Perfect for the kids...

 

Other attractions include giant 150-year-old Sequoias (which tower above the the bamboo); Mazel's Greenhouse - packed with tropical orchids and other plants and a miniature waterfall; various wild and wacky art installations; the 'Chinese Palm tree Walk' - a long avenue of enormous palms; and a bamboo garden centre and gift shop.

 

Practical Information

 

Buy bamboos and other plants at the garden centre Art installations dotted about the park Clear signage in French and English Explanations in 6 languages of all around you

   
Address:
Contact Details:

Générargues (Just outside the town of Anduze in the Gard department)
Click for a Google map

Official Website:
Click here to visit it

Phone: 04 66 61 70 47
E-mail: Click here to send

Times:
Cost:
Open: March 1 - Nov 15.

7 days a week. 9:30am - various closing times depending on the light

Basic ticket: €7.50

Under 12s: €4

Combine The Bambouseraie with:

""  A trip on the 'Train des Cévennes' - a steam train that starts from Anduze and passes the Bambouseraie.

""  Lunch in beautiful Uzès

 

 

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