The first Festival des Jardins de la Côte d’Azur is a new event for the region and will take place from today until 01 May 2017.
Debut edition of the Festival des Jardins de la Côte d’Azur
The theme is ‘L’éveil des sens’, translated as ‘Awakening the senses’ – and I think it is a great initiative for both residents and tourists because there are some really beautiful gardens throughout the French Riviera.
The aim of the Festival is to protect and enhance the regional gardens, and increase awareness of the ‘green’ heritage that has contributed much to the region.
Interest in plants, flowers and making use of the landscape for aesthetic appeal has a vast history along this coastline from 19th-century English aristocrats who travelled globally and returned with plant specimens to acclimatise, to modern garden installations with contemporary sculptures.
The French Riviera region consists of over 80 gardens (excluding public parks), many with exceptional locations that offer sea or hinterland views. Twelve of these gardens are listed as ‘Remarkable Gardens’; four are in Menton which is well known for it’s gardens.
Many festivals throughout the year maximise the connection to botany: From Fête du Mimosa in Mandelieu and Fête du Citron in Menton in February, the March festival celebrating the vibrant violettes in Tourrettes-sur-Loup, flower battles in Antibes, Nice and Villefranche-sur-Mer, the Fête du Orangier in Bar-sur-Loup in April, Fête du Jasmin in Grasse, rose festivals in La Colle-sur-Loup and the month of gardens in Menton’s summer season.
The Festival Programme
The Festival will be hosted for an entire month (01 April to 01 May 2017) and will comprise of a competition of garden design reserved for landscape architects, landscapers, landscape companies and other professionals where pop-up garden displays of 200m2 will be created in various locations throughout the French Riviera. An extra garden of 1400m2 will be installed at Promenade du Paillon in Nice.
Entry to these garden displays will be free to the public. There will be 10 participating gardens for the first Festival.
Cannes: Villa Rothschild (note: This is hosted at Villa Rothschild in Cannes, not Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in St Jean Cap Ferrat)
Grasse: Villa Fragonard
Juan les Pins / Antibes: Pinède Gould
Menton: Jardins Biovès
Nice: Albert 1er Garden on the Promenade du Paillon
The winners of the garden design competition will receive the following prizes:
– The jury prize will receive €10000 donated by the Département des Alpes-Maritimes.
– The public choice prize (honorary prize) will be decided from votes throughout the Festival.
– The press prize (honorary prize), will be presented tomorrow on Sunday, April 2, 2017, by a press jury composed of a dozen journalists from media specializing in gardens and ‘life style’, from France and Europe.
To find out more about the garden locations and designs, click on this link Festival des Jardins information
There will be a free treasure hunt at the 10 garden displays where you follow the white rabbit! The treasure hunt starts at 2pm until 5.30pm on the following dates:
- Nice 01 and 02 April 2017
- Menton 08 and 09 April 2017
- Cannes 15 and 16 April 2017
- Antibes – Juan-les-Pins 22 and 23 April 2017
- Grasse 29 and 30 April 2017
Children can also join a free patisserie workshop at Villa Rothschild on 01 April at 2pm, a potager workshop at Pinede Gould in Juan les Pins on 15 and 16 April 2017 and various art workshops.
The Fringe Festival that is additional to the garden displays will include open days, guided tours, talks and exhibitions. Most of these activities will be free, with some entry fees applicable for visits and entertainment that are part of the schedule.
For a list of activities, refer to the official website link Festival des Jardins: Le OFF
For visitors to the French Riviera during the Festival des Jardins, you can benefit from special promotions running in conjunction with the event including discounts of up to 20% on Nice accommodation and sightseeing passes.
To see the deals, click on the link here: http://jardins.nicetourisme.com/z8691w120260e1_fr-festival-des-jardins-de-la-cote-d-azur.aspx
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Credits: Festival poster, video, images courtesy of the Département des Alpes-Maritimes