Sunday, 13 June 2010

Cluny Botantique

PoemThere is so much going on in Cluny this year, the citizens are using the 2010 celebrations of the abbey as an excuse to clean-up, tidy-up and improve their town and why not? Last week was the week of inaugurating the five new gardens and an orchard. An excellent addition to the town. The whole week was dedicated to a botanical theme. All the shops has botanically themed poems or prose posted in their windows and on each day, one of the new features was inaugurated culminating on Friday with the inauguration of both the Jardin Pédagogique and the Rosarie.

Mid-week, we decided to tour all the new gardens. First stop, get a map off the Mayor’s official website and just follow the blobs. We parked at the supermarket near the new orchard and followed the map. This was actually not the best starting point as the “blobs” on the map turned out not to be too accurate. After 20 minutes of searching for the new orchard, we asked some of the locals. “Never heard of it.” “But it was inaugurated a couple of days ago.” “Oh yes, you’re right I did see something about it in the paper. Don’t know where it is, it’s not round here.” After the third person had been tackled, we gave up. So the first 30 minutes had not yielded one botanical marvel. On to the next one. This time the blob was also nowhere near where the garden was, but as the inauguration party had just happened, there was red and white tape all over the place which gave away a potential garden location. Jardin Pédagogique Again we needed to ask a resident for clarification, yes the zone that looked like a cordoned-off crime scene was in fact the Jardin du Fouettin, possibly a wild flower meadow?

On to the next attraction, Jardin Pédagogique which was actually to be found where its relevant blob was on the map! Actually quite a cute little garden, just opposite the schools with beds themed on the senses, taste, touch, vision etc. It was well thought through and interesting for kids.

Two gardens down, three to go and yes of course that orchard… The Jardin Partagé turned out to be a small set of allotments- enough said and so now only the Jardin des Simples and the Rosarie which we already knew, but which had to be “officially” visited on our tour. Jardin des SimplesThe Jardin des Simples is right by where the entrance to the Abbey used to be and is a small well laid-out garden for herbs and medicinal plants with a few trained apple and pear trees. This garden has been growing for a few months now and is looking very good, well worth a little detour to see it. Finally on to the Rosarie.

Unfortunately the Rosarie had many problems during its construction, not least of which was a lack of people to get it started. To have it looking good for the inauguration the roses should have been planted in November with March being an acceptable second, however digging didn’t start until late February and the beds were nowhere near ready to accept plants until just a couple of weeks ago, which is a pity as many people had put in a lot of thought and time into this project. The frantic activity over the last couple of weeks shows the effort that some have gone to, to get it up and running. Rosarie Anyway, next year this new feature will add a very special splash of colour to the edge of Cluny.

Over lunch we finally found out the name of the access road to the orchard. We got out the map and found the road, almost where we had parked our car, but nowhere near the blob on the official map. After lunch back to the car and one last attempt to find the orchard, you can’t miss an orchard can you? And there it was, in all its glory, three scrawny apple trees and two two-foot high walnut trees, I won’t attach a photo, if you really want to see it you will have to find it for yourself!

The walk through Cluny took us to places we had never been before, like the super park that is on the very steep edge of the hill and has meandering paths down to the river Grosne. It was a fun morning and if you have the time, it is worth it just to see things off the tourist track.

Why not visit the website for the houses we rent near Cluny for more things to see and do in the area.

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