Garden Tours in Paris
Tours can be arrranged for families, couples, individuals as well as larger groups up to 25 people.
Gift certificates can also be arranged as a special present for someone; they will receive a voucher and then we will work together to create a memorable tour. My professional fees are for your group, not per person. They do not include your travel costs, refreshments or any admission fees.
Most Frequently Booked Tours
The Luxembourg Garden
The Luxembourg Garden is one of the richest parks in Paris, both historically and botanically. Beginning with the Roman occupation followed by the arrival of the Chartreux Monastery and their famous orchards in 1257, this faubourg of Lutèce has always appealed to the citizens of Paris. Four hundred years later Marie de Médicis, homesick for her Florentine Pitti Palace and Boboli garden, was so enticed by it she began purchasing land in 1612 . Very intent on creating a beautiful garden, she planted 2000 elm trees before the first stones of her new home were even laid! Surviving the French Revolution, Haussmann, and Mai ’68, Luxembourg now welcomes up to 100,000 visitors on a busy summer day looking to sunbath around the octagonal pool or the quite, romantic shade of the Medicis’ fountain.
Discover these sites, stories and even a miniature Statue of Liberty from Bartholdi as we stroll thru the alleyways of this charming park.
Jardin des Plantes
You will be amazed by the extensive variety of plants, trees, statues and structures that span over four centuries in just one location. Created in 1626 for Louis XIII’s doctor, this medicinal garden soon took the role of a botanical school and then public garden.
There is something to enjoy during any season here, between the greenhouses, a rose garden, the labyrinth with its gazebo, the zoo and its aviary, in addition to 500m of flowerbeds with species and colors found nowhere else in Paris. There is also an Alpine Gardens that presents over 2000 plants from mountain ranges from around the world as well as three newly restored greenhouses.
The Château & Gardens of Bagatelle
This 18th century folly was built in just 67 days following a bet between Louis XVI’s youngest brother, the Comte d’Artois and his sister in law Marie-Antoinette in 1777. The ground floor is furnished in period and style pieces recreating beautifully the atmosphere enjoyed by a lucky few prior to the French Revolution. During the 19th century the gardens were extended and represent today a variety of garden styles and designs with geometrical French parterres, English bedding schemes, cascades, ponds and streams. The botanical collections begun in the 20th century include both herbaceous and tree peonies, iries, water lilies as well as the world famous rose gardens. Now there are over 10,000 roses displayed throughout this 60 acre park. Every June since 1907 the International New Rose Competition takes place here, with rose lovers coming from around the world to judge and celebrate the latest creations and improvements in this amazing flower. The century old trees, flowering shrubs and naturalized bulb collections ensure a delightful visit here throughout the year.
Complete Garden Tour Collection
The Tuileries Garden
For many historians, Notre Dame is the heart and soul of Paris; it is the Tuileries for garden lovers. This garden is intimately linked to France's history, the urban development of Paris, and the history of public gardens within the City. Besides being one of the City's largest parks, it is also one of the oldest public gardens, having witnessed over 450 years of events and celebrations. Occupied by tile makers from the 12th century, Catherine de Medici created a Florentine paradise here in 1564. It was then 'modernized' by André LeNôtre 100 years later and most recently updated by Louis Benech and Pascal Cribier in the 1990s. Not only does this garden offer an excellent balance between the vegetation, architectural elements, and water features, there are splendid views of the Seine and the Place de la Concorde.
Explore the old wine and spirits warehouse district of Paris that has been transformed into a beautiful contemporary park. Like the Tuileries, the Bercy Garden is parallel to the Seine and despite its contemporary design, has along history spanning several centuries with many beautiful, mature trees. During the 19th century, it was here that the best wines of France were negotiated and sold around the world. IN addition to its large prairie, there is a central section that is devoted to the history of classical gardens and evokes Bercy’s past with nine themed flower beds illustrating a season, an element or an associated color. Crossing over the footbridge, we discover the Romantic Garden, where a pond with waterlilies encircles the old guard’s house. The philosopher’s garden, a miniature amphitheater and a belvedere will complete this picturesque promenade.
This park was originally designed for the Duc de Chartres in the 18th century to embellish his country house on the outskirts of the City. The French Revolution cut short this festive playground for the Duke and his guests, but some of the original follies still remain, along with others which were added in the 19th and 20th centuries. Redesigned under Haussmann’s skillful team of landscapers in 1861, the present layout reflects all the design elements so dear to Napoleon III. There are many exceptional trees including one of the largest Plane trees in Paris, beautiful Paulownias, Silver Lindens, Honey Locust and many more behind the majestic gilt gates.
You might have caught glimpses of this wonderful garden walkway in films, but they can not do justice to the smells and sights of this secret treasure. This garden stretches for nearly 3 miles above and below ground from the Bastille area to the Bois de Vincennes. It is an old railway line that once brought flowers into the City and has been converted into a series of small gardens and promenades, like a ribbon running thru tunnels, trenches, slopes and viaducts. As we wander, you will find yourself reaching new heights, above the tree line and enjoying architectural éléments often invisible from below.
Auteuil Botanical Garden
No matter what the weather is like outside, it will be a bright and balmy moment inside the century old green houses in the 16th Arrondissement, filled with flowers, plants and old-fashioned charm. A magnificent domed greenhouse is home to tropical and equatorial plants from around the world, as well as several side greenhouses with begonias, ferns, orchids, palm trees, cacti, and other succulents. Three different garden styles are present outdoors as well, with an English section whose rolling lawns are adorned with bulbs in the spring and wild flowers throughout the summer months. A French garden edged with narrow borders and a superby kept lawn lead you to and from the architectural elements of the garden. In the western corner, a small Japanese garden filled with Asian species complements the peony collection that lines its walkways.
PLiné1, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Andre Citroen Park
This park is one of the major horticultural achievements within Paris during the 1990’s and it is beginning extended in 2013. Reclaimed from the industrial site of the Citroen car factory, there are over 30 acres of green recreational space bordering the Seine. Within the garden, several architects and landscape designers have combined their talents to create eclectic, attractive and contrasting ambiences : the silver garden, the black garden, the blue garden… Strong geometrical plantings where water and glass define the space as well as the use of color and texture make this park a ‘must-see’.
Parc Floral in the Bois de Vincennes
The Bois de Vincennes has a long and interesting history. Originally a 13th century royal hunting ground, it was transformed into a public walk by Louis XV. In 1860, Napoleon III gave the forest to the City of Paris, and Baron Haussmann arranged a series of gardens in the English style. Tucked into the Bois de Vincennes’ 2400 plus acres of greenery is the Parc Floral de Paris. It was created in 1969 to host an international floral exhibition, and this 90 acre garden was carved out of an old military site facing the château de Vincennes and transformed into a valley of flowers. Now the largest of the city’s 5 botanical gardens, it is composed of many display gardens. The shade of century old pine trees protects the rhododendrons, azaleas, and camelias that enlighten the garden ever spring. One of the most beautiful collections of tree and herbaceous peonies in Paris is nestled in the back of the park among the perennial beds. A rainbow of color can be seen during the two floral competitions held every year, where over 200 varieties of tulips are displayed in the spring as well as dazzling dahlias in the fall. There are a series of themed gardens including Mediterranean plants, medicinal & culinary collections, bonsai as well as the butterfly pavilion can also be discovered in this park. Discover the true meaning of ‘FLOWER POWER’ as Amy Kupec-Larue explains all the treasures to be found in the Parc Floral.
Square des Batignolles & the Martin Luther King garden
The 17th arrondissement of Paris is being transformed by the construction of a modern, vibrant 32 acre park crossing over the St Lazare train lines, thereby connecting the Batignolles area of Paris and the boulevard Berthier, previously separating in two by the SNCF. One will be able to walk from the Sainte Marie church, thru the Square des Batignolles, the new Martin Luther King garden, past the new Justice building, and contemporary, ecological housing without ever leaving the tree lined paths, bridges and walkway when all the work is completed in 2015. Our tour will allow us to compare the classical 19th century square designed under Napoleon III by Adolph Alphand in 1862 which so marked the Pärisian landscape and the newest éléments in garden design at the Martin Luther King park. where the seasons, sports and water are the highlights reflecting the City’s commitment to eco-friendly practices.
W. of Landshire, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
This breathtaking garden is perched on the north-eastern corner of Paris and was an important showpiece of the Second Empire. Known as the ‘Bald Hill’, this abandoned open-air quarry had become a garbage dump before being transformed in record time for the World’s Fair in 1867. While possessing all the elements of a Haussmannian park, its true beauty lies in and must be discovered from its many different levels and various vantage points. An impressive escarpment surrounded by a graceful man-made lake greets you at the main entrance, facing the 19th arrondissement’s City Hall. Various bridges, including one by a young Gustave Eiffel link together the different sections and changing panoramas in this garden. We will also discover some 19th-century industrial achievements which were used to create picturesque effects, including a 90-foot cascade along with many historical and romantic references peppered throughout the park.
The Pré-Catelan and the Shakespeare Gardens
A very well kept secret in the Bois de Boulogne, this park was built under Napoleon III during the Second Empire and was a hot spot for all for all of Paris to see and be seen. Magnificent trees, shrubs borders and bedding plants in the French version of an English landscape continue to delight visitors today. The original open air theater was restored in 1953 by a British Association wishing to create a garden dedicated to Shakespeare in Paris. Various plants mentioned in his work are used to recreate the background for five different plays, from the moors of Scotland to an enchanted forest, Puck maybe awaiting you in this charming garden.
Albert Kahn Garden
Join me for a trip around the world in this fantastic garden designed by the late Albert Kahn at the turn of the 20th
century. After creating a sizable fortune, he devoted his life and wealth to promoting world peace through knowledge and respect. His estate and garden in Boulogne mirror the cultural diversity he so admired and became the backdrop for his foundations and photographic archives collected worldwide. Seven different garden ambiances blend seamlessly in this 8-acre park restored in the spirit of its creator. The formal French garden flows into an orchard with climbing roses before leading you down a forest path only to emerge in an English meadow, which ends at the gate of a traditional Japanese garden. The colors and scents also vary with each change of scenery, only adding to the experience!
Gardens of the 1930s
This walking tour will take you to three very different gardens that were all created within the same decade and exemplify the renaissance in urban design which took place between the two World Ward as well as highlighting the social and political importance of public gardens. At the Kellerman Park, this charming but relatively unknown, tiered green space is on the location of the dismantled fortifications that once encircled Paris. We will weave our way towards the Buttes aux Cailles through gardens and along the streets that have succeeded in preserving their charm and authenticity. In the fifteenth century, leather tanning and dyeing industries flourished in this neighborhood thanks to the nearby Bièvre river, including the famed Gobelin's tapestry manufacturer. Our last garden is a wonderfully preserved example of this period, displaying luxurious vegetation and by far the most 'Italian' garden in Paris.