France's oldest botanic garden


An old engraving of a romantic vignette in Le Jardin des Plants with the
Tor des pins and the Cathédrale Saint Pierre in the background.
first became aware of Le Jardin des Plantes during a visit to Montpellier in autumn 2000.  A horticultural friend living in the area made a point of showing it to me and my wife during our stay.  Since that first, and very brief visit, this fascinating garden has remained in my thoughts.  I was apparently captivated like many others before and since.

Because this historic garden is so little known, especially outside of France, I've found many gardeners, horticulturists, and botanists eager for me to share what I know of this place.  This has also encouraged me to do more research, and to visit again, trying to be sure that I speak accurately.  Ultimately, I've mentioned this garden in many of my talks, and recently created a talk focused on the history of this garden alone.  Met with enthusiasm, I was prompted to compile information on these pages based on that presentation.

This is a personal site - I make no pretense to be an authority on Le Jardin des Plantes de Montpellier, there are others better qualified to assume that role and I will quote or reference them regularly.  Because much of the best information available is in French, I've done my best to translate it accurately.  If I have made errors in these efforts - please do point them out to me (via the comments section of the page) and I will make corrections.  If you have information to add, this is welcome also.

I will be building these pages in roughly chronological order, so check back for new installments from time to time.

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Seán A. O'Hara
Berkeley, California, USA