The Arboretum of Versailles-Chèvreloup is (I think) the old arboretum in France, as it is next to the gardens of Versailles on land acquired by King Louis XIV as a private hunting ground. In 1922 it was transferred to the Museum of National History to use as a botanical garden, but not a whole lot was done. In 1960 it became a scientific arboretum with the various species of trees arranged into geographical zones. They didn't begin opening it to the public until 1977, just 50 hectares for a start. It was only in 2018 that the entire domain was opened -- about 200 hectares total. There is also a zone of hothouses containing 5000 different species of rare and endangered plants, but this is not open to the public except durng scheduled guided tours.
Anyway, the place is hardly overrun, because it is rather complicated to get there if you are a motorless peasant like me, and also the people who live in the area see no reason to pay a fee when the gardens (830 hectares) and forest (1057 hectares) of Versailles are right next door free of charge. I was still determined to go, so I took the metro to Gare Saint Lazare and then the train to Versailles and then a bus to Rocquencourt, and then there were still 500 metres to walk to the entrance. To top if off, there is a very complicated knot of expressway lanes which must be solved like a puzzle to get to the other side.
Great start K2 - it appears huge and empty. I am not sure from the pic - it may be the angle but is that a funnel spiders web maybe? I have seen a few photos of the UK funnel spider recently in a photo group I am in
I enjoy places like this, especially when needing a break from the city. Too bad getting there is so complicated. When I see these nice paths it makes me think being there with a bike, if allowed, would be super helpful.
I love thistles. They are such "stay-away-from-me!" plants but then they have those lovely flowers. It is also the symbol of Lorraine, a warning to the invaders from the east. (Didn't work, unfortunately.)
Beautiful place & so many nice pictures. Honestly, when thinking about arboretums before I'd ever been to one, I wouldn't have thought they'd be so lovely to visit. (I was probably picturing something like a Christmas tree farm.) This one looks particularly pleasant, as so many places are left semi-wild and forest-y. The sky appears to have been competing with the ground for a beauty prize.
One little detail that I liked about this place was the lack of "security." As you can see, the ticket office on the right is not really blocking access at all. Absolutely anybody could probably get in without paying, particularly on a bicycle. Honour systems are becoming far too rare in this day and age.
I've been away too long, missed a lot of great stuff. This looks like such a peaceful place to take a hike or bike ride. I love the close-ups of the bugs and flowers, as well the strikingly beautiful clouds.