Visit Arboretum des Barres
The Arboretum des Barres is near Montagris in Central France
The Arboretum des Barres was begun in 1873 and covers 35 hectares. It is divided into three magnificent collections each with a walk around the collection ensuring that you see the best of the plants. It is classified as one of the "Remarkable Gardens" of France.
Explore the Arboretum des Barres
The first collection is the 'Geographic Collection' and trees are grouped according to their country of origin. The oldest part has lots of American and European trees and there is a younger collection of trees from Asia. As well as some immense American Redwoods (Sequoiadendron giganteum), there are magnificent Gingko bilobas, a pleasure to see as this prehistoric tree is very slow to grow. For me the real pleasure of this part of the garden is the amazing variety and beauty of the different barks the trees have.
The next collection is grouped according to botanical families and include magnificent groupings of Acers, Rhododendrons, Oaks and Magnolias. Many lovely flowering trees and bushes can be seen in this section.
The third collection is the smallest and is called the 'Ornamental collection'. In this collection are many 'bizarre' trees with fantastically twisting forms, incredible long weeping branches and other intriguing features. The section is known in the Arboretum des Barres as the 'Bizzaretum'!
Another highlight is the collection of massive sculptures where dead trees have been turned into magnificent wooden sculptures by various sculpteurs.
Altogether there are more than 2500 species and the Arboretum des Barres is one of the most important in Europe. It is one of the top ten most complete collections in the World.
As well as the arboretum there is a shop, a tea-room and a nursery where you can buy some of the trees you have admired in the park.
The Arboretum des Barres garden guide:
The Arboretum des Barres is probably at its best in the spring when the young leaves are revealed in their full beauty, many flowers appear, cyclamens, daffodils etc cover the floor and the arboretum is splendid. Favourites such as the handkerchief tree, Davidia involucrata and magnolias are in full flower at this time. The autumn though reveals the many Asiatic trees at their best with the splendid autumn colours of the Acers in particular.
The Arboretum is open late March to early November. July and August: every day 10.00-19.00 and other months Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10.00-18.00.
The entry is 5 euros for adults and 3 euros for children (3 to 12 year olds). Under 3s can enter for free.
This arboretum is situated in the Loiret department of the Centre region of France.
Address: Accueil de l’Arboretum National des Barres, 45290 Nogent-sur-Vernisson
Gardens to visit nearby
This area is rich in gardens and a treat for garden lovers. Another lovely arboretum, the Arboretum des Grandes Bruyeres, lies to the west on the edge of Orleans. The Jardins du Grand Couroiseau is a large, prize-winning garden that has lots of different themed gardens within.
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.