55 km from the Chambres d'Hôtes L'Echappée Belle, you will find the Arboretum des Grandes Bruyères. It is a 14 hectare park located in the heart of the Orleans forest in Ingrannes.
The history of this private park began in 1969 when Brigitte and Bernard de la Rochefoucauld bought the land. It was an almost impenetrable agricultural wasteland. After clearing the land, the first planting began in 1973. Its collections of magnolias, American oaks and dogwoods are recognised nationally and it is classified as a remarkable garden.
Today the Arboretum contains 7000 plants from Europe, North America and the Far East, arranged according to their geographical origin.
Although it is a recent addition, it is difficult to spot because it is so perfectly integrated into the forest and its trees. A 200-year-old oak stands majestically in the park.
It is aptly named because it contains numerous heather beds, which are in bloom from March to June and from August to October. The magnolias are in flower in April and early May and you can admire 400 varieties! The cornus collection (500 varieties) blooms from May to June.
But the park is also magnificent in autumn, especially in the section dedicated to North America!
The entrance to the Arboretum is a very pleasant French garden with benches and the sound of fountains. Then it is the turn of the English garden to seduce you. Then you will wander through the
different groves, through different continents. This journey will take you to Japan and the United States. In fact, there are two large "groups", one Asian and the other American.
Numerous ponds interrupt your walk. Some species are so rare that they are sometimes extinct in their place of origin.
It must be said that the trees and shrubs are well cared for. No fertiliser or chemical treatments have been used in this garden for 40 years.
So, are you ready for a moment of relaxation and discovery in this little paradise?
Do you know...?
-There are 800 species of heather in Europe and Africa. The country with the most varieties is South Africa.
- Magnolias are very old plants. Fossils have been found dating back several tens of millions of years. In fact, specialists say that the first flower on our planet, more than 140 million years ago, looked like a magnolia flower.
- The de la Rochefoucauld family is one of the oldest families of the French nobility. It dates back to the 11th century. The branch of the family that created this arboretum settled in the Loiret in 1820.
If you are interested, you can participate in the numerous photo contests organised by the Arboretum des Grandes Bruyères: photos of magnolias, autumn colours...
If you have visited the Chamerolles Castle, you will benefit from a "smart ticket" at a reduced price at the Arboretum.