Visit Arboretum des Grandes Bruyeres
The Arboretum des Grandes Bruyeres is situated in the heart of the Forest of Orleans, 25 km east of the city of Orleans.
The Arboretum des Grandes Bruyeres was the winner of the fourth prize for the best park in France competition 2006. (First prize le Jardin de la Petite Rochelle, second prize le Parc oriental de Maulévrier, third prize Le Clos du Coudray). It is classified as one of France's "Remarkable Gardens".
Explore the Arboretum des Grandes Bruyeres
Bruyeres is the french term for heather and as its name suggests this garden is packed with different varieties of heather.
Not ordinarily one of my favourtite garden plants, the Arboretum des Grandes Bruyeres garden really shows how to combine heather with other shrubs and plants to bring out its full beauty and versatility.
This park contains eight gardens and two arboretums. The French national collection of north American oaks, magnolias and flowering cornus sp. (dogwoods) are here as well as 500 species and varieties of bruyeres (heathers) and 800 ancient roses. The american and chinese flowering dogwoods are some of my favourite medium sized trees of the moment.
In the spring they are covered in white or pink flower-like bracts and are absolutely stunning. No garden should be without one.
In all the gardens cover 12 hectares. The garden visit starts with a French style garden with lots of clipped box and also rose tunnels and clematis. An English style garden inspired by the gardens of Gertrude Jekyll then leads you to the Asian and American arboretums. There is also a labyrinth and a vegetable garden.
Bird watchers will also be very keen to visit the gardens where over a 100 different species of birds have been seen. The garden has banned the use of chemicals since it began in 1971 making it a refuge for birds and insects.
Best time to visit the Arboretum des Grandes Bruyeres
To see the heather in full flower visit in March/April. At this time of the year the 400 or so magnolias are also coming into flower. May is a good time to see the beautiful flowering dogwoods of American origins along with the rhododendrons. June and July see the Chinese flowering dogwoods in flower as well as being able to enjoy the sight and scent of the 1000 or so ancient roses.
August is the time to see the autumn flowering heathers and other colours and textures are given by sedums and ferns. The most colourful time is the autumn with the flame colours of the leaves of acers, liquidambars, zelkovas and many more along with the berries of many shrubs and trees.
Arboretum des Grandes Bruyeres garden guide
The Arboretum des Grandes Bruyeres is open every Sunday and bank holidays from the last Sunday of March until the 2 November, 10.00-18.00. Mondays to Saturdays: 10 to 12.30 and 14.00-18.00. The arboretum is closed easter Sunday and the first week of August and from 2 November until the end of March.
This garden is situated 30 km north of Orleans in the Centre region of France
Address: Arboretum des Grandes-Bruyeres, M et Mme de la Rochefoucald, 45450 Ingrannes
Visits cost 10 euros for adults and 5 euros for 5-12 year olds. Under 5s are free.
Gardens to visit nearby
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.