Last week I visited a great bamboo garden in Southern France called the Bambouseraie. Just outside the pretty village of Anduze, this bamboo garden is located only 15 miles from Nimes in the French Languedoc Roussillon region and not too far from my French garden.The bamboo garden was designed in 1856 by Eugène Mazel who was a keen French botanist. It is a picturesque and mature garden which includes a comprehensive collection of bamboos but also many other oriental plants and trees of interest.
I followed the guide who provided useful information about the plants and trees in the park, and I learnt some interesting horticultural facts about bamboos. I shall always remember that bamboos shoots grow like piles of plates stacked upwards and growing at a speed of up to 1 meter a day.
All in all it comforted me in the opinion that some species of bamboos can be difficult to contain since they have a tendency to spread quickly whilst other smaller varieties can be used as bushes in order to provide handy green borders.
I also got to discover more interesting facts about other exotic plants. For instance on the Ginkgo biloba : called the tree of life and known for its medicinal properties; and apparently it does not suffer from disease or any parasites. It was the first plant to grow back following the Hiroshima nuclear bomb, and unlike many other plants was not mutated by the radiation.
Another point of interest is a Feng shui garden which was most delightful, tucked away in a lovely natural valley. It was very colourful and relaxing, containing red leaved Acer trees set against the multi-tinted green backdrop of bamboos.
I also enjoyed walking through the water garden as well as the 1860 Victorian greenhouse which includes temporary horticultural exhibitions (at the time of writing this post it included hundreds of Dandelion blossoms forming a inquisite a symmetric pattern which you can see in the picture).
The visit of the bamboo garden takes about 2 hours and if you are planning a trip there you may also take the opportunity to catch the steam train which gets you there and back from Anduze.