Located in the famous Bois de Boulogne, the Jardin les Serres d’Auteuil offers to visitors an unusual journey through space and time. It combines the elegance of a regular garden, the charm of late 19th-century architecture, the exoticism of tropical plants from far-off lands and the richness of a botanical garden. This magical place has become over the years an eclectic garden where are gathered many testimonies of the Art of landscaping and conservation. There is a large central lawn adorned with pretty floral decorations around which a symmetrical architecture of classic style, typical greenhouses from the end of the 19th, a landscaped English garden with a more sinuous and hilly design, a garden of Japanese inspiration and a small garden with Mediterranean essences. A paradise for lovers of botany and horticulture, with its remarkable trees and splendid collections of rare plants, the garden shows an impressive collection of more than 6,000 plants, categorized into thematic segments (succulent, New Caledonia plants) or systematic (palms, begonias, ficus, ferns…). Flanked by two curvilinear paths gently sloping, a staircase 20 meters wide allows access to the vast regular lawn. The pilasters adorning the retaining wall of the terrace are decorated with 14 masks from Auguste Rodin’s studio. At the opposite end of the parterre stands a fountain signed Jules Dalou, whose medallion represents the Triumph of Bacchus.
But those blue cast iron greenhouses are, without a doubt, one of the wonders of this garden. They were built in full vogue winter gardens and are the last big greenhouses to have been built in France in the 19th century. Their metallic structure offers a range of shades of blue, green and turquoise. Entirely renovated in 1999, the palmarium reveals in tropical heat its splendid specimens of tropical, subtropical trees and shrubs. They stand next to an imposing palm tree from the Canaries, which attends, impassive, the ballet of Japanese carps that animates the waters of the basin.
Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil, open everyday from 9am to 8pm / 3, avenue de la Porte-d’Auteuil 75016 Paris.