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The seasonal gardens

Bringing nature to the heart of the city

These gardens introduce visitors to ecology and biodiversity issues in a fun and educational way.

Ecological and educational gardens

The seasonal gardens opened in 2001, following the exhibition Le Jardin planétaire (the planetary garden). They aim to increase awareness of major ecological issues and sustainable development in children and adults. The gardens are home to a biodiversity that is rare in urban areas. They are part of the community, hosting gardening workshop cycles, art tours and fun workshops on nature themes.
The seasonal gardens are home to a wide range of ecosystems that are perfect for experiments: dry gardens, fallow areas, ponds, meadows and undergrowth. In the vegetable garden, many kinds of old vegetable varieties, cultivated by gardeners passing through, grow thanks to green fertilisers and wild plants.
The gardening methods used are based on ancestral and experimental practices. They include simple ecological solutions, such as laying down straw to save water or using green fertilisers instead of chemicals. This environmentally friendly approach also involves collecting rainwater, using natural products such as nettle or horsetail slurry and making natural compost. As a result of these actions, Ecocert awarded the seasonal gardens the EVE standard for ecological/eco-friendly areas in 2010.

Timeline

  • 2001 : the seasonal gardens were created.
  • 2002 : the first workshops were held.
  • 2010 : Ecocert awarded the gardens the EVE® standard for ecological/eco-friendly areas.
  • 2011: the gardens were extended, bringing the total surface area to 3,000m².

A 1,000m² extension

In May 2011, the seasonal gardens were extended by 3,000 m² to create new ecosystems and install facilities for disabled visitors. Many new features were developed, including :

  • An orchard planted in a flowering meadow where visitors can enjoy the beauty of old and rare fruit tree varieties, including Royal apricot trees and Vranja quince trees.
  • A dry garden where Mediterranean plants flourish without water and produce incredible scents that can be made into essential oils.
  • A biodiversity hedge, which is home to small rodents and birds.
  • A vegetable bed with 25 plots that can be cultivated by local residents or visitors interested in learning about ecological gardening.
  • A water garden with aquatic plants, aquatic insects and amphibians to raise awareness of phytoremediation – using plants to treat contamination in water.
  • An educational apiary to shelter bumblebees, which produce honey that is collected by workshop participants and sold on the last weekend in September.

Seed swaps and sales of honey from the seasonal gardens

Villette workshops

Information/booking:
Individuals: +33 (0)1 40 03 75 75
Groups: +33 (0)1 40 03 74 82
See all Villette workshops

Facilities for disabled visitors

La Villette has taken special care to ensure disabled visitors can access the seasonal gardens. Facilities include :

  • Large potting tables for wheelchair users
  • Cold frames and garden boxes specially designed for wheelchair users
  • Safety features around the lagoon
  • Suitable ground surfaces
  • Tactile models for visually-impaired visitors

4-tourisme-handicapThe seasonal gardens have been awarded the Tourism and Handicap Label for hearing, mental, mobility and visual impairments.