In French a serre is a greenhouse or hot house. There is a park, just at the south-west edge of Paris near the Bois du Boulogne that is called Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil. Why? Because it is known for its greenhouses.
The Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil is one of the four botanical gardens maintained by the City of Paris. As such, its focus is on showcasing plants from all over the world, including the tropics.
The other three botanical gardens are Parc de Bagatelle in the Bois de Boulogne (16th), the Parc Floral in the Bois de Vincennes (12th) and the Arboretum also in the Bois de Vincennes. I’ll be posting about these soon!
There are five beautiful greenhouses that were built in the late 19th century. The architecture is stunning!
In addition to showcases plants from around the world, the garden and greenhouses have collections of rare plants and remarkable trees – either rare or old – or both.
Here is an example of a gingko tree which as the plaque notes, is remarkable for both its age and its size. It was planted in 1895. Also, there is an interesting story as to why it in french it is called “L’arbre aux 40 écus”. The name comes from that was the price of the tree that was paid back then! I guess it was a lot.
The park also is conveniently located next to the Roland Garros tennis complex.
Consequently, Roland Garros built a new stadium on the grounds of the Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil. They built the tennis stadium to resemble a greenhouse and it is also in fact a greenhouse.
Completed in June 2019, the contemporary greenhouses surround the Simonne Mathieu court of Roland Garros stadium. The four sides of the court are surrounded by two levels of bleachers, set between four greenhouses which present botanical collections evoking the flora of the tropics of South America, Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia.
If you are so inclined here is a cool time lapse video of its construction!
All of the greenhouses, old and new, are currently closed due to Covid but I’m definitely visiting once they open up.