From King René to Végépolys

Published on 27 July 2015 - Updated 30 July 2015
Cet article date d'il y a plus de 6 ans

The industrial, technological and scientific centre Terre des Sciences has partnered up with the well-known Végépolys competitive cluster to develop links between plant life and tourism with a view to promoting the vegetation sector in the eyes of locals and tourists alike – an economic activity in keeping with a rich history running from King René to the 19th century’s horticulturists and taking in the Loire navy, which linked the Valley to the world via the port of Nantes. Following initial action at Château d'Angers, fresh ideas and projects continue to abound.

Château d'Angers’ gardens, showcase for a living heritage

In the 15th century, King René introduced numerous plant species into Anjou, which acclimatised and went on to adorn Loire Valley landscapes over the course of time. The château has become the premier showcase for apprehension of garden arts and varietal creation. 

A number of gardens have been embellished thanks to the involvement of a wide range of partners who have pooled their energy

  • Terre des Sciences is overseeing the initiative and providing scientific mediation on plant life – science in the making
  • Château d'Angers – the Centre for National Monuments is providing historical mediation on plant life
  • Angers-Le Fresne Agricultural Lycée/CFPPA is putting its students to work designing and creating gardens
  • Végépolys competitive cluster companies are supplying plants in the context of partnerships and skills sponsorships

Visitors to the Château can now enjoy gardens planted with old varieties along with varietal innovations produced by Anjou companies and laboratories. Hydrangeas , medicinal and aromatic plants, and, in the near future, broom and rosebushes will be taking on a whole new dimension. 

Signage in French and English provides technical and historical information, making the connection between heritage and innovation. Flash codes also give access to videos and the catalogue of varieties on show. 

A first booklet for younger visitors is being tested out this summer. 

Sites are also set on creating a light-hearted tablet app for a château visit itinerary acquainting users with the plant life in the gardens and buildings, and, of course, the Apocalypse Tapestry. 

On the web:

Development in the Loire Valley offer and the King René network

Château d’Angers and Terra Botanica are both driving forces for promotion of plant life, likely to attract fresh tourism to the region. They provide possibilities for hosting group or business tourism combining heritage and innovation. The issues involved here are economic, through tourism and promotion of the Anjou sector to tourists, as well as in terms of drawing-power, in particular with regard to students, given the many available training and research programmes on plant life. 

Other proposals are under development in  King René network monuments and along the Loire (Bouchemaine, Sainte-Gemmes-sur-Loire, etc.), including visits and rambles in discovery of local public gardens and businesses

On the web:

In the diary:

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© ABFPM / Olivier Sampson

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