Saturday, 13 October 2012


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.


the fly in the web said...

I'd always meant to go there...but never did so thank you for the photographs...those planters are rather fascinating.

Zimbabwe said...

For October it all looks pretty good to me and those dahlias are gorgeous. Diane

The bike shed said...

Welding - now you'e talking! I fancy doing some metal sculptures.

James Higham said...

What do you do over winter, vis-a-vis the gite?

Mark In Mayenne said...

Hi James,
We live next door to the gîte, so unless we're off on a Winter holiday somewhere, we're here to look after things, and can accept clients.

Normally we have clients in for Christmas and the new year, but after that things are usually a bit thin until March or Easter.

The heating system is designed to heat both the gîte and the pool in the depths of Winter, so in principle we can host guests at our normal levels of comfort all year round. The rental prices are the same in Winter as Summer, to reflect the increased costs of heating, but we do sometimes let for self-catering in Winter, which is something we don't do during the rest of the year.

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