All around Menton lies the city’s utterly charming and exotic botanical gardens. At their heart, the gardens are held intact by a combination of passion and determination from the residents for the plants that grow there.
Blooming with life in every shade of green, Menton is the ideal place for botanical gardens to thrive. A maze of shady avenues, walkways lined with dense foliage, cool fountains and exotic plants, the Jardin botanique exotique de Menton embodies the romantic, pastoral side of the city in a way not seen anywhere else.
Although the botanical gardens seem to be the embodiment of nature’s wild bounty, disciplined effort is required in order to maintain the demanding gardens, which have over time gradually gained in size and beauty, today spanning several fertile hectares. Their creation is an artform in itself, and they were designed by artists who dedicated their whole life to accomplish this one masterpiece. They are a living and eternal landmark created to showcase the stunning environments found around the world.
Elegantly organized chaos, with seeds gathered from across the globe, is what gives the gardens their soul. A unification of nature is drawn between the fertile citrus plantation surrounding the city of Menton, and seeds from tropical lands.
The plants in the botanical gardens hail from a wide variety of far flung places, from China to Mexico, New Zealand to South Africa, and many more besides. A great number of the plants growing in the Jardin are endangered or nearly extinct, like the Sophora toromiro, a tree that once thrived on Easter Island but has now disappeared entirely from its original habitat, is today being preserved in the Val Rahmen garden.
These exotic plants are notoriously sensitive to the cold and therefore they love the unique microclimate which is found between the mountains and the sea in Menton. Hedges and low walls are used to divide the gardens into discrete areas optimised to provide every plant with the perfect conditions for their different needs.
Every botanical garden of Menton has its own characteristic style as a reflection of the men who created them. It is these personal touches inspired by cultures old and new that make each garden stand out from the next. The green colours of Menton are part of a story: a story of men who dedicated their life to accomplish a truly unique composition and were filled with determination to show the diversity and beauty of nature, represented in an elegant way. Les Jardins de Menton stand as a memorial of the creators who first visualised them, a legacy that will hopefully live forever.