It was while visiting the Jardin des Plantes in Nantes that I really discovered the Camellias. If it is particularly appreciated by camellia lovers, it is because of the great richness of its collection, which counts no less than 600 cultivars spread over 7 hectares.
It is also very easy to access, located just opposite the Nantes TGV station, rue Stanislas Baudry. This allows me to spend the whole day there, to enrich this site and its nomenclature.
Major work was completed in 2019, access to the Jardin des Plantes was changed and a new entrance was created on rue Ecorchard.
The visit is composed of two parts. At the entry (western side), above, you can find old camellia cultivars and outstanding subjects. They constitute the majority of the camellias of the garden. You will be able to stroll in the long alley and admire their flowers with varied colors and forms. You can find there very rare camellias.
Going back up the alley, near the new access, we discover a path that goes down in the middle of the camellias. The Jardin des Plantes has opened two labyrinths of camellias to discover the massifs of the interior. This is the second one. The first is on the other side of the garden.
The garden if very vast and constitute a nice walk, specially in spring. Camellias offer a long period of flowering. They can be admired from the beginning of autumn (Sasanqua), then during all spring with botanics, japonica and hybrids.
The best period is between February and April. Do not hesitate to contact the Jardin des Plantes directly. They will be happy to inform you about the state of flowering.
Below, some pictures of the garden, between October and May.
At the very top of the old camellia sector, we arrive at the Allée de la Musique (below) which connects the great alley of the "old" camellias and that of the "younger" ones.
On the other side of the garden, going down towards the entrance facing the station, (east and south-east side) we find the second part of the collection, which is more recent. It has been planted with botanical camellias as well as younger cultivars of japonica and hybrids. The collection is very varied and equally rich. The subjects already reach a respectable size, despite regular pruning.
The statue of Jules Verne, a famous man from Nantes, can be seen at the very top of the sector.
Just opposite, we find this massif in homage to the Nantes breeders and those of Alfred Lemaitre, such as 'Douceur', below.
'Konronkoku', a very peculiar camellia, remarkable for its petals.
This is the first maze of the Camellia, which has been set up for the 2018 ICS congresses. We saw earlier the second west side, near the new access.
Also at the 2018 ICS Congress, some camellias will attract attention with a sign and a commentary.