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Les Jardins du Mas de PAYAN

The present owner bought the Mas de Payan in 1981.  At the time, the garden consisted of approximately two acres of scrub with brambles, a few dead elms and a clump of willows, which had seen better days.  The only trees worth saving were a couple of oaks and some plane trees. 

The first two priorities were: shelter from the prevailing winds, the mistral and the tramontane, and the creation of a garden, since the house was only used during summer vacations. Hedges were planted outlining the basic structure of the north and south gardens using Cyprus, Eleagnus, Prunus and Viburnum tinus.  A few trees and shrubs were also included, Quercus ilex, Arbutus, Cedrus, Pinus pinea.

1990 saw the creation of a kitchen garden.   At first this was a basic affair consisting of square beds planted with vegetables, but as the years rolled by, roses, peonies, aromatic herbs and many other plants were gradually introduced. 

The following years saw a new alley etching its way down to the Viguérat canal bordered with olive trees.  Little by little, plants grown from seeds and cuttings collected from botanical trips around the world were introduced.       

In 1999, the construction of a greenhouse protected the collection of pelargonium and more delicate plants, making it easier to propagate from cuttings and raise plants from seed. 

In 2003, the garden was inlayed by 13 hectares (31 acres) with the main drive straightened and lined with ash trees.  Two mixed-borders were created on either side of the drive.  At the same time, fifty young trees, some of them grown from seed on the estate, and the collection of fig trees, a gift to the owners, were planted, marking the birth of an arboretum.

In December, the garden was entirely submerged as the Rhône river and Viguérat canal burst their banks.  The priority for 2004 was to replace the plants asphyxiated by the floodwaters. 

More species were introduced, the arboretum was extended.  A natural hedge planted along the road was prolonged in January 2005.

In 2006, the planting of Ostrya carpinifolia along each side, and the building of an entrance gate, embellished the driveway.  A double hedge of Italian poplars was planted and the yearly addition of new species continued.

In 2007-2011, plantations and new introductions continued with the compilation of a detailed file of plants.

Every summer, artists show their works and perform as part of the contemporary arts festival.

2012: Birth of the association "Les Jardins de Payan".

This 1901 law association was created with the aim of promoting meetings and exchanges on the art of gardens and the arts associated with botanical biodiversity.  Today Les Jardins de Payan boasts approximately 1000 taxons, broadly encompassing the whole range of garden arts and botany.  It is the garden of a self-taught, passionate botanist and dendrologist, in love with this land of Provence.

2013: Expanding the collections

The gardens specialize in the introduction and acclimation of plants seldom found in the pH 8clay-limestone soil of Provence.


2014 : introduction of new oaks species

2015 : 26 figs trees were removed. Creation of a new orchard

2016 : Creation of a nursery for young trees

  2017: Expanding the collections  
  2018 : Partnership with the city of Tarascon
which is associated with the various events that will take place in the gardens.

2019 : Creation of the list of plants in les Jardins de Payan
Available on the site by clicking on the "list of plants" link in the menu

  Heritage Day: The fables of La Fontaine at les Jardins de Payan.  

Chemin Mannoni / 13150 Tarascon
tél :  04 90 54 62 38 / mail : contact@lesjardinsdepayan.fr

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