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Published: April 16th 2022
Have you any idea how many types of bamboo there are ? Me neither . I was bamboozled with the numbers . There must be rather a lot or why would have a Bamboo garden? . A garden dedicated to nothing more than bamboo. A garden which is a solid green most of the time.
We had spotted the Bambouseraie de Prafrance a private botanical garden in Anduze when we were looking for something different to see and do. 84 acres of garden specialising in bamboo. Only opening in the warmer months we were lucky to be able to visit when we arrived at Anduze for a few days . We had a few minutes ago parked up outside a campsite handy for the gardens . A campsite which the ACSI book stated had been open a couple of days only to find out that it was not opening until a few days later . We drove up instead to the gardens and found a free aire where we could have stayed for the night kindly allowed by the gardens in the hope we would visit them .
The gardens contain Europes largest collection of Bamboo . Entry fee
for seniors 25 euros for the two of us . The gardens were established in 1856 by Eugene Marzel who made his fortune in the spice trade . He built his collection up until he hit financial problems in 1890. The garden changed hands many times but still continues to showcase bamboos.
There are 300 types planted in the garden . As well as bamboo there are plantings of other Asiatic shrubs such as Ginkgo , sequoias plus a replica Laotian village complete with fat bellied pigs . Water canals and a Japanese styled garden complete the themes . Labels did give the names of each individual bamboo.
We walked in through a grove of the tallest bamboos you could ever wish to see . Their stems thick . As tall as large trees forming a canopy overhead . The rustle of the leaves was magical . Luckily few people were in the gardens and we had much of them to ourselves. It was amazing to stand in front of such massive plants . In places they must have been 30 feet tall or more. The sky was obscured by them. What is there not to love about
a grove of Bamboo? Here and there what I would describe as indoor plants seemed to grow easily outdoors . Bamboo was used as a building material . Fences were constructed from the stems. It seemed nothing was going to waste. Seats made from bamboo. A maze completely hedged with yellow stemmed bamboos.
Apart from the yellow stemmed variety there were black stems and silver ones . Someone had erected scaffolding made from bamboo canes . The imaginative use of the canes left us stunned .
The Japanese garden was entered via a red gate . The paths led to a flowery meadow. The yellow bamboo canes here showcased the Japanese cherries just coming into bloom. A river ran through. Small but formed to run in rills and down waterfalls . A bridge completed the Japanese theme .
There were ariel playing areas for the kids where they could walk in the canopy. A cafe with an odd assortment of food . A shop sold nicks and knacks made from bamboo and a garden centre sold every type of bamboo from small potted varieties to massive specimens . I would have loved to have taken a few home in the van as they were cheaper than back home however I dont think I would get them through customs now so had to walk on by .
Anduze was one of those places we just pencilled in as a thought for the holiday and it was certainly delivering . On top of that we had now added a garden to the list of things we had seen and again it was one of those "If Carlsberg made bamboo gardens then they must have made this one "
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