The Parc de La Fosse, near Montoire sur le Loir, is one of the oldest arboretums in France.
Thousands of trees and shrubs from around the world have been planted on this hillside of the Loir valley since the end of the 18th century, initially around the buildings. The current plan covering 25 ha (50 acres) was designed by the owner, Alexandre-Sébastien Gérard.
Eight generations of the same family have maintained the Parc de La Fosse and continuously enriched it with the new botanical discoveries of the last three centuries.
Paths and clearings are lined with plants both scientifically interesting and an aesthetically attractive. Magnolia, Cornus and Rhododendron in bloom are spectacular in the Spring, while in the Autumn the colours of the Parrotia persica, Nyssa sylvatica, and Carya ovata are truly flamboyant over the carpet of Naples Cyclamens in the undergrowth.
Among the most remarkable trees to be admired at La Fosse: Cedrus libani (1810), Pinus laricio (1820), Juniperus drupacea (1880), Taxus baccata fastigiata (1825), Davidia involucrata (1905), Quercus dentata, Cedrus brevifolia...
Especially beautiful barks can be seen on a row of Acer griseum and Hersii, Prunus serrula and Maackii, Betula costata and albo-sinensis septentrionalis, Arbutus Andrachne and Menziesii.
Lagerstroemia indica, Ceanothus, Actinidia sinensis and kolomikta grow against the buildings while Crinum Powelli, Amaryllis Belladona, Romneya Coulteri and Nerine Bowdeni line sunny walls.
Like many other arboretums, the Parc de La Fosse plays a triple role of observation, experimentation and repository. At the crossroad of Science, Art and History, it is registered and protected as a Historical Monument.
The arboretum is open by appointment only to groups of at least 10 paying visitors.
Entrance fee: 14 € per person.
Free of charge for children accompanied by adults, and for one leader of groups of 20 visitors.
A guided tour can also be booked for 80€ for the whole group, on top of the entrance fees.
Bookings can be made by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and confirmed upon reception of a deposit of 50% of the total amount due.
Because of the size, lay-out and the large number of plants, visitors usually spend between 1h30
and 2h walking around the Parc.
It can, of course, be taken at greater speed or more leisurely, strolling the paths and resting in the clearings.
Most private Historical Monuments in France - and especially parks and gardens – are in deficit because of their high maintenance costs.
Their main expenditure is staff costs: salaries and employers’ dues (which are particularly high in France).
Historical Monuments are also important providers of work for local firms to whom they contract some of the tasks which their own staff cannot carry out.
Out of the 14€ which you will pay:
This amount represents the cost of half an hour of a gardener’s work, or a few litres of petrol for a lawn-mower, or three quarters of the price of a blade for a garden clipper.
Through your visit, you support not only the maintenance of one of the oldest French arboretums but also local employment. Thank you.
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