A short break in the not-too-far-away city of Orléans before the Autumn rain sets in and the frosts send the gardens into hibernation. Although we trolled around the city, the focus of the trip was a visit to the gardens at Orléans-la-Source where there is a big (35 acre) Parc Floral. This is built behind a big chateau, and surrounds a small tributary of the Loire, le loiret.
The different areas are framed by mature trees, and the overall impact is of a space carefully planned and managed for family visits, child entertainment, educational school trips as well as for the plant enthusiast. I felt that the maintenance was perhaps a bit lacking in some areas, but the garden was by no means scruffy.
October isn't really the best time to visit it, but I was pleased to see a big display of Dahlias, a plant that is close to its best at this time of year, as long as it hasn't been exhausted from flowering too much and has been regularly dead-headed. I liked the system they had for staking them, too, with a square metal grid attached to a central pole. Another reason to get myself some arc-welding kit.
They had some very artistic but strange planters for the Fucshias, they look very much like they are designed to hang from something, but I bet they weigh a ton. And I was quite taken by the pergodas they have built for climbing roses. The rose garden was a bit past its best, but will definitely be worth revisiting in Summer.