Some years ago, I bought a rose book to get inspiration to my new garden. In it I found fantastic pictures of the garden Parc de Bagatelle. I fell in love on the spot, and I can whole heartedly say, that this garden has influenced me more then any other garden. It was my first ever garden visit!
Going to this garden by public transport is a bit tricky even though it is really close to the city center of Paris. I will therefor suggest you get a taxi. If you really want to try the public transport and have loads of spare time, then go for the bus (bus 43 or 244 from métro Pont de Neuilly).
I did the train and walked 2 hours, and by the time I arrived I nearly needed an ambulance.
The garden sits in the beautiful and huge forest of Bois de Boulogne.
A ticket to see the gardens costs about 5-6 Euros and I do believe it is accessible for wheelchairs.
First off, this garden has everything, and the fact that it sits in tarmac covered Paris is a reason in it self to visit.
If you are in Paris for some other reason, I beg you to see this garden!
It is most famous for its rose garden and it is truly magnificent. Huge roses, small roses, ramblers climbing over arches, walls and pergolas and a huge strict cut parterre with so much roses you would not believe.
There are more then 10.000 roses in this garden.
They are all labelled, so if you need a new rose, this is a place to go get inspiration.
The garden also contains a cottage garden, landscape garden filled with exotic birds, waterfalls, grottoes, a pagoda, romantic bridges and a fantastic Iris garden.
I must say that the Iris garden really made a big impression on me, and I have a big Iris border at home, inspired by this garden.
This garden has a scientific systematic feel to it, everything labelled and planted in order, but not in a boring strict rows.
So if you are a romantic cottage owner or a nerdy plantsman this garden will fit both bills easy!
The gardens history
The garden was created in 64 days, by Louis XVI brother, in a bet against Marie-Antoinette who also lived there from time to time. They used the house as something in between a summer house and a hunting lodge. A posh one. 🙂
In 1835 the brit Lord Seymour, Marquess of Hertford bought the property, and doubled the size of the gardens and build new beautiful buildings. I was really impressed by the Orangerie.
So in 1905 it was all sold to the City of Paris. The landscape designer currently employed by the city (Jean-Claude-Nicolas Forestier) created the flower gardens that are the once we now visit for. The rose garden, the iris garden etc. The rose garden was completed in 1906. And has since then housed an annual rose exhibit for new roses. A debutant ball 🙂
The first version of the garden and park was designed by the Scottish landscape gardener Thomas Blaikie.
The flower gardens inclusive rose and iris gardens was designed by Jean-Claude-Nicolas Forestier.
Parc de Bagatelle Website >