65, rue du Fort 29, rue Albert Copieux 76620 LE HAVRE / Côte d'Albâtre
Located in the hills above Le Havre, the Jardins Suspendus (Hanging gardens), listed a Remarkable Garden and Botanic Garden since 2017, offer visitors an exceptional 25-acre setting. Located in the former bastions of a military fort, there are four themed gardens planted with species coming from all over the world. Linked by 8-metre high buttresses, the four gardens encircle the courtyard in which there are about 1.2 acres of greenhouses. Besides, the site offers a bird's eye view over the Seine Estuary and the spectacle of the cargo ships linking Le Havre to the rest of the world.
I stood facing the former military fort of Sainte-Adresse, which dates back to 1858. As a keen history buff, I was very excited to explore this fort turned into a garden. I soon spotted the entrance and stepped inside the heart of the fort. In this stone tunnel, the air was fresh and the light darker. Then I was suddenly blinded by the sunlight that I could hardly look around me without squinting. I slowly realised I was in the courtyard in front of impressive white greenhouses that stood proudly in the centre. Stunning! I didn't expect this at all, even if I already saw pictures of this garden. I felt so small and I was eager to go and explore the whole site.
My steps took me towards the south-west bastion. It is the Garden of Contemporary Explorers. The path went up and I walked along an area planted with cacti and other succulent plants in a dry garden. It was very surprising. This garden pays tribute to 20th and 21st century explorers who have discovered and brought back new species from all over the world. What I enjoyed most is the breathtaking view over the sea I got when I reached the top of the bastion. As soon as I had started my visit, I had fallen under the spell of this charming, out-of-the-ordinary place, and I was eager to see more. I walked along the buttress leading to the North American Garden, where, once again, I had a stunning view, but not of the outside this time but of the inner courtyard and the greenhouses. I noticed by the way the incredible geometric layout and symmetry of the place. In this garden, I saw splendid oaks and ashes that looked old. I strolled in the shade of these trees daydreaming in this green and peaceful setting. The East Asia Garden is very big, and I really liked it. I thought it was very cosy, and I was delighted to lay my eyes on beautiful rhododendrons, Japanese maples and other Asian species. I felt comfortable there and I spent long minutes reading the blue labels displaying the name of the species. Just like in the previous gardens, I wrote down the names of the species I enjoyed the most in a notebook to be able to recreate my own hanging gardens at home. I completed my tour of the bastions with the Austral Garden, which is also surprising. In fact this garden is designed around the former military batteries, which creates an interesting and unexpected contrast with the Tasmanian landscape.
After this one-hour trip around the world, I walked back towards the inner courtyard where I intended to discover the mysterious greenhouses. Just like in all the greenhouses, it was hot and some parts were more humid than others. What I love about greenhouses is this feeling of being immersed. These greenhouses are particularly well thought out and laid out. I discovered collections of species, more or less well-known and more or less exotic. In the second greenhouse I was in a tropical forest and then in the desert! Different landscapes and atmospheres follow one another. I saw exuberant and fascinating plants. I especially spent time in one of the arid greenhouses where I discovered a wide range of cacti with strange shapes. Behind the greenhouse, I strolled in the Art and Experimentation Garden consisting in 24 mixed-borders displaying colourful and contrasting perennial and annual combinations.
I finished my surprising visit in the tea room to enjoy this enchanting place a bit longer...
Botanical garden, Exotic garden, Remarkable garden, Plant collection, Greenhouse and orangery, Contemporary
Services : Restaurant with baby equipment
Activities available on site : Adult workshop, Junior workshop, Temporary exhibitions, Specific theme activities, Conferences
The visit lasts approximately : 90 min
Languages spoken : English
|Base rate - full rate adult||From 2.00€
Methods of payment : Carte bleue, Postal or bank cheques, Cash