Tuesday, 24 March 2015

greenhouses of auteuil

If you're following me on Instagram, you knew this one was coming. I've been smitten with this place ever since I visited it a few weeks ago. It's the perfect getaway when winter won't quite leave yet and you're longing for warmth and anything green. Add some beautiful architecture and a touch of exoticism and you're starting to see my point. And I'll admit it, if like me you have a passion for palm trees and this particular Parisian turquoise, you might go a little overboard.

Called "Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil", this botanical garden is located on the edge of the 16th arrondissement in Bois de Boulogne, one of the largest parks of Paris. That was a lot of Frenglish. If you're still with me, I'd like to add that even though the site was already a botanical garden under Louis XV, it wasn't until 1895 that these beautiful greenhouses ("serres") were built. They were designed by the famous French architect Jean-Camille Formige who's also behind the park you can find in front of the Basilica Sacre-Coeur. And I can't thank him enough for choosing this stunning colour.

Take a stroll in the park. It has lovely gardens of different inspirations; English, Japanese & Mediterranean and you will find plenty of rare trees and remarkable plants, but as you've probably guessed by now, the greenhouses were the ones who stole my heart.

I can't list it all here so if you don't want to miss a thing, take a guided tour*. My botanical knowledge is very limited (I usually send pictures to my mother and ask her "what's the name of this tree or flower?") but I did recognise Japanese carps swimming in the ponds (yes, I know they're not trees), an aviary with exotic birds, countless beautiful palm trees, a Katsura - also called caramel tree in French because of the lovely smell it releases in the fall- & a ginkgo Biloba, one of the longest living tree species on earth. Okay, so maybe I didn't exactly recognise these, but I'm good a reading the signs. You'll find magnolias, orchids and much, much more.

Some people believe that plants enjoy the sound of music & grow better if you're singing to them. I'm tempted to believe this after stepping into one of the greenhouses with no one else inside and all of a sudden hearing "start spreading the news..." coming out an old radio set (if you're born in the 90's or after, please google this). And so there might also have been a bit of dancing to Frank Sinatra in an empty greenhouse surrounded by ferns & cactus.

Free entrance. Open to the public all year, 7 days a week, 9am-4.45pm. The garden closes later depending on the season.


  1. Gorgeous photos Benedicte! I really need to visit this place when I have the time, it looks beautiful.

  2. Thank you, thank you! And yes, you definitely need to visit ;-)


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