The Jardin Extraordinaire of Nantes visitor guide

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Visit The Jardin Extraordinaire of Nantes, France

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The Jardin Extraordinaire has been created in an old quarry in the west of Nantes close to the Loire River and the Jules Verne museum and three kilometers from the town centre.

Explore the Jardin Extraordinaire of Nantes

France This Way review: With steep cliffs, powerfull waterfalls and thoughtfull planting the Jardin Extraordinaire in Nantes is well worth exploring.

The quarry 'Miséry de Chantenay' was chosen in 2016 to be the site of a new public garden.The combination of steep cliffs,  a south facing aspect protected by the cliffs and creating a micro-climate, a natural diversity of plants already present and a large cave made this the perfect site  for an unusual garden.

Jardin Extraordinaire of Nantes

The cliffs form a semi-circle around the garden and are an integal part of the garden plan. In the western part of the garden a large metal staircase has been built against the cliff to join the garden below with the town at the top of the cliff.

Four belvederes have been created allowing you to pause and enjoy the views. These also form a link to the belvedere path which circles the top of the cliff around the garden and continues along to the east and has 7 belvederes along its length. This 'promenade des belvederes' was created in 2019.

Further around the cliff from the steps are three dramatic waterfalls which fall 25 meters to the pond in the garden below. This large pond has paths crossing it in two places and these paths form part of a network around the garden.

The area around the ponds is quite stunning with the cliffs, waterfalls and ponds creating a dramatic focal point.

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Planting in the garden takes advantage of the microclimate in the gardens which is up to 4° warmer then at the edge of the river. It has been inspired by illustrations of Jules Vernes stories which have large, luxuriante exotic plants.

Jules Vernes was born in Nantes and a museum devoted to him is a short walk from the gardens and the reason for the connextion with the garden.

The exotic planting includes large tree ferns, banana palms, large leaved hostas and gunneras and in the ponds lots of exotic lotus plants. The overall impression is a lush, verdant oasis and there are more than 200 different species planted in the garden. 

At the other side of the Jardin Extraordinaire a climbing wall has been created and 29 different climbs up the cliff are possible.  Another 24 climbs up a rocky cliff are possible at the nearby square du Commnadant Aubin. This means Nantes has a remarkable 53 natural climbs in its town centre!

Thanks to Nantes Metrepole - Patrick Garçon for the photos.

Jardin Extraordinaire of Nantes

Attractions nearby

Nantes is a large city with lots to see. At Machines de l'Ile you will find the famous giant automated elephant of Nantes. Garden lovers will also enjoy a visit to the Jardin des plantes de Nantes.

The Chateau de Tiffauges hosts popular medieval re-enactments. It is the largest medieval castle in the region.

Pornic has a pleasant town centre and a vibrant harbour which is popular with visitors in the summer.

You can find more travel ideas in the Pays de la Loire guide.

See also: 

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The French version of this page is at The Jardin Extraordinaire of Nantes (Francais)

 
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