Le Jardin Botanique
It’s not surprising that a city like the French Nice
has a botanical garden within the urban area. There is a lot to be exhibited as a natural background of the Mediterranean flora so that it is both preserved as genetic material and people are aware of the richness of the local nature. These are some of the purposes that Le Jardin Botanique
(Botanical Garden) bears in mind to promote and it follows them. Other so called 'missions' of the institution include enriching the genetic diversity, preserving the plants, etiquetting, exchange of seeds with other botanic institutions and scientific research. The organization also aims at educating people through guided tours, the access to the library and the consultations that are run. Besides the flora species, that count to more than 3,500 and even more with their varieties, on the surface of 3,5 hectares that the Botanic Garden occupies there are also some examples of the wildlife fauna. The garden is situated on a relatively higher place so it doe not lack picturesque views.
The beginning of the Nice Botanical Garden was set in 1983 when the small-size collection of a hundred species was planted the species being taken from the reserves of the Museum of Natural History
. Because of the time needed for the seeds to grow and to turn into plants that are ready to be exhibited the facility opened for the public as late as 1991, that is about eight years after the first plantings. Nowadays it has on display some 15,000 plants of the local Mediterranean climatic type and a bout 30,000 more plants from the countries of the same climate but only with different details- South Africa, central Chile, southern Australia, western America and California. What is mostly unique of this botanic garden is the full recreation of the typical landscape of all the localities where the kinds of Mediterranean climate are present. Some of those localities included in the garden’s layout are the Canary Islands, Greece, Mexico, Cyprus and others. When walking from place to place in the garden the different blocks of a specific country are so arranged and written down that one easily gets oriented where the plants come from.
Among the traditional zones an ethnobotanic part is present with its medicinal, aromatic and poisonous plants. The Sisal (Agaves) plants are particularly well development in a specific zone just like in the natural zone in Mexico. Various Cypresses of three continents along with many other plants alike make up an important collection arranged in several terraces. The Sages (tea) also comprise parts of the essential gatherings of the Botanical garden. Some exotic spots of particular interest are the gardens with plants from Central Asia and China. Moreover, the plant diversity is filled up with decorative, aromatic plants such as the wild roses section. On the premises of the botanic facility are housed some species of lizards and grass snakes.
As the different plants need different special conditions to bloom and develop, each season can be specified with the presence of certain dominating plants. For example, in May one can see predominantly Aloe comosa, Calliandra tweedii, Cerinthe major and also many other species. The Botanical garden of Nice presents its visitors with many other services except the plants’ exhibitions. Not only there are areas for the children to play and for the cars to be parked but also there is the library for the curious about the flora details. Moreover, there is a kind of flower market organized twice a year- spring and fall- where amateur gardeners are encouraged to exchange plants, seeds and maybe even advice. As a result it is a pleasant and educational experience to visit the Nice Botanical Garden; moreover, one can always have a rest and enjoy the view from the specially designed rest areas.