The “Bamboo Park” is situated on the territory of the village of Lapenne in Ariège department of southwest France. It is an 1 hour drive from Toulouse (via the highway so around 80 km) and a 1/2 hour drive from Foix (around 30km).
I visited the park in early April so at the very beginning of the opening season.
Arriving from Toulouse, after exiting the Toulouse-Foix highway, the park seemed to be located deep in the French countryside which is expected for a 5 ha bamboo dedicated estate. What was neither anticipated nor welcome was to find out that there are very few signs – and only when already getting already close – that indicate the park’s direction. In short, the park was rather difficult to find.
From my point of view the park is divided into 2 main parts that only have in common… the bamboo.
The first, “direction of the visit” part is the wild, almost unattended, park surrounding walking path on the banks of the river Hers where one learns about bamboo in general and its different species. As the three-lingual French/English/German information panels go I was surprised to discover that bamboos belong to the same family of grasses as wheat and rice, that they can grow in hot, humid weather up to 40, 50 cm per day, that some species reach a height of 40 or 50 meters, that their name comes from the sounds of “bam” and “boo” made by burning stems (this according to an Indonesian tribe who gave the plant its name), etc.
The second and central part of the park is the most beautiful one. It is a place of peace and beauty where one can easily spend a quiet afternoon. It features bamboo groves, a bamboo labyrinth, a dwarf bamboo surrounded little pond and other landscape bamboo arrangement.
The Bamboo Park is recognized as a “Jardin remarquable” – “Remarkable Garden” – by “Le Comité des Parcs et Jardins de France”.
Hi, I am Carla. I am living and working in the beautiful city of Toulouse, France.
I like history, travel and... the southwest of France and try to share through this blog information about events that might be of interest to the travelers to this part of the world!