Domaine du Rayol

JOELIX.com | Domaine du Rayol

One of the urban jungles that we visited in the South of France is called the Domaine du Rayol. Not far from where we were married, located on the most beautiful part of the coast, lays this botanical garden focused on Mediterranean species. As you know, I'm very much into agaves, palm trees and cactus plants, so this Mediterranean garden was just my thing.

JOELIX.com | Domaine du Rayol

The mix of pine trees and sea smells sooo good, I wish someone would create a perfume with these scents:

JOELIX.com | Domaine du Rayol

JOELIX.com | Domaine du Rayol[[more]]

The garden of Rayol was created in 1910 by a Parisian business man who built his retirement home called l'Hôtel de la Mer (above) on this promontory overlooking the Baie du Figuier. He added a second house, le Rayolet, in 1925. Over the years, the garden was sold and extended and finally abandoned in the late 60s. As of 1989 the Conservatoire du Littoral began a thorough redesign of the garden and created dedicated areas to plants of the Mediterranean basin and subtropical and arid parts of the world.

JOELIX.com | Domaine du Rayol

Currently le Rayolet is under construction: it will become an education center for Mediterranean plants, landscapes and gardens. How awesome is that?!

JOELIX.com | Domaine du Rayol

The entire 20ha garden is well maintained, but with enough weed and dead foliage on the ground to nourish the plants and trees. Which means it's not too perfect.

JOELIX.com | Domaine du Rayol

What you see below is an agave. At the end of its life, it blooms. Not with a few cute flowers…

JOELIX.com | Domaine du Rayol

… but with a huge flower stalk. This one was about 10 meter high! Isn't it brilliant to end your life as an agave with one big firework?

JOELIX.com | Domaine du Rayol

This was my favorite part of the garden: the South American desert:

JOELIX.com | Domaine du Rayol

JOELIX.com | Domaine du Rayol

And I also loved having a peek at the nursery (including the weeds):

JOELIX.com | Domaine du Rayol

In the summer the Domaine du Rayol organizes tours to discover the Marine garden: about life on the beach and below sea level in the Baie du Figuier…     I think I need to come back!

JOELIX.com | Domaine du Rayol

4 thoughts on “Domaine du Rayol

  1. it's amazing how these roofs, colours, blue sky and trees are becoming familiar to me … sometimes I wonder what I was used to before … And what a beautiful place! I put it on our list of the places-to-see in the area. xx

    1. Yes, this light, the roofs, the sky and trees are your home now! I'm only slightly jealous ;) I think you'll like the Domaine du Rayol, but it's even more fun in the summer: the kids can go snorkeling!! xx

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