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Collections & departments The Tuileries and Carrousel gardens

The Tuileries and Carrousel gardens form a pleasant, leafy setting for the Louvre palace. A delight at any season of the year, they provide the perfect place for a relaxing stroll and offer a range of activities for visitors of all ages.

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The Tuileries and Carrousel gardens form a vast estate extending over 26 hectares.

The Carrousel Garden

Two planted mounds mark the entrance to the gardens on the Louvre palace side. Radiating lines of clipped yew hedges fan out from the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel toward the Terrasse des Tuileries. In this setting, twenty sculptures by Maillol seem to be engaged in a monumental game of hide-and-seek.

The Tuileries Garden

The landscapists chose to preserve the gardens' historic layout. The Grand Couvert copses were restored, and eight hundred of the 2,860 trees replanted. The restoration of the Napoleon III garden sought to conserve its original spirit; large, mature trees and dry moats define the boundary of this former private garden within a public park, while the formal unity of the Grand Carré is reinforced in the layout of lawns and flowerbeds. The architects added an ornamental lake to complement the gardens' two exedrae, but the walls, ponds, horseshoe ramps, and railings along the place de la Concorde were all retained and restored to their original state. New equipment for the day-to-day maintenance of the gardens was also installed, including automatic watering systems, lighting, and the facilities and buildings used by the seventeen security officers and twenty gardeners were refurbished.

The trees
The maximum height for trees in the Tuileries garden is fixed at 2.2 meters. Branches are close-trimmed and shaped each year, to accentuate the monumental axis running between I.M. Pei's Pyramid and the Grande Arche de la Défense some 6 kilometers to the west. The wide variety of species represents those planted throughout the gardens’ history: oak (holm oak, cork oak, Turkey oak); elm, alder, ash, yew, poplar, lime, horse chestnut, plane tree, maple, white mulberry. The Grand Carré features trees of various sizes, such as hackberry, yew, pine, Judas tree, Sophora, purple beech, horse chestnut, orange tree, magnolia, and Gleditschia. Certain individual specimens are over two hundred years old. Replanting in phases is essential: the gardens are a functioning public park and dead leaves need to be cleared away for practical reasons, despite their nutritional value for the soil. The light-colored soil radiates light and heat which dehydrate the trees, adding to the compacting and erosion problems caused by the gardens’ millions of visitors. Standing as they do in the heart of Paris, the trees also suffer from air pollution.

The flowers
Twice yearly in spring and fall, the 7,000 square meters of the Grand Carré are planted with up to seventy thousand plants and bulbs from the gardens at Saint Cloud. Hardy perennials including irises, geraniums, loosestrife, Japanese anemones, and asters define the layout of the planted banks. Biennials such as pansies, wallflowers, forget-me-nots, hyacinths, and tulips are planted in the fall, to flower in the early weeks of the following spring. Annuals are planted in May, for a colorful show until the fall. Each year, the Head Gardener devises a precise planting plan: flowers must range between 70 cm and 1.2 meters in height, with a flowering period extending from May to October. Careful attention is paid to the play of colors, from red cosmos to yellow rudbeckias, dahlias, and grasses. The "rose gardens" overlooking place de la Concorde are home to a host of tulips in early spring, while a carpet of yellow daffodils lies in front of the Jeu de Paume. Once the weather is warm enough, sixty orange trees planted in tubs are brought out of their winter storage in the Orangerie in Meudon and installed here.
 

Practical information

Entrances:
place de la Concorde
rue de Rivoli
quai des Tuileries
avenue du Général Lemonnier
passerelle Solférino

Métro, bus:
Métro: lines 1, 7, 8, 12, and 14
Bus: lines 21, 24, 27, 39, 42, 48, 68, 69, 72, 73, 81, 84, 94, 95, and Balabus

Opening hours:
Winter: 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Summer: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.