Parc de Bagatelle
Bagatelle is a beautiful park of about 60 acres, a popular place for an outing on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, whose history goes back almost 300 years. It started with a small pavillion built in 1720 by the Marquis d’Estrées for his wife and which during the XVIIIth century was the scene of galant rendez-vous, including among others the Regent and King Louis XV. In 1806, Napoleon took over Bagatelle happily spared by the Revolution and for a while toyed with the idea of making it a palace for his son the King of Rome.
In the garden, there are 9000 rose bushes of 1200 varieties and each year, the International Competition adds new roses to the collection. Several small theme gardens offer other exhibitions of plants. In February, the lawns are covered with crocuses and beds filled with hyacinths, followed by a magnificient show of daffodils, narcissus and tulips, in all several thousand bulbs. In May, peonies bloom on the terrasses, the iris garden is an enchantment and a variety of clematis decorate the “Jardin des Présentateurs”. June brings the glory of the rose collection, impeccably groomed, and, recently, the addition of a second garden showing the huge rustic ramblers. The waterlillies are quite marvellous.
Roseraie du Val de Marne
But if you are a true lover of roses, do not hesitate to leave Paris to go a few kilometres south to l’Haÿ-les-Roses. On the edge of a vast park, the rose garden of l’Haÿ is the fruit of a passion born more than a century ago. In 1892, Jules Gravereaux, one of the founders of the department store “Le Bon Marché” bought a 30 acre domaine at l’Haÿ. During the first four years, he collected 1600 species and varieties and put them by squares in his vegetable garden. In 1902, he had 4000 cultivated roses and 900 species of wild roses. The collection is unique, complete, the creation of new roses no longer held interest for Gravereaux. He collected everything to do with his favourite flower and thus, the Rose museum was started. Roses in words : the library, roses in science : botany, horticulture and perfumery, roses in artand decoration : paintings, sculpture, material, porcelain and pottery.
The Gravereaux rose garden became a world reference. From this parent garden others were planted. Visited, admired, copied, it is the origin and reference for many others such as of course the famous rose garden at Bagatelle, but also the one at La Malmaison and the Palais de l’Elysée, both of which have unfortunately disappeared. Today, l’Haÿ presents a collection of 16.000 plants of 3.300 species and varieties.
We hope the story of these two rose gardens will give you the wish to visit them on a fine and sunny day.
Parc de Bagatelle
Bois de Boulogne, 75016 Paris
Every day from 8:30 to 8:00pm.
Roseraie du Val-de-Marne
Open from 15 May until 1st September from 10am to 8:30 pm.