Panoramic view of the orangerie garden with the potted plants in their outside positions. The orangerie (left) has side annexes supporting stairs down from the main terrace of the chateau which is just visible top left corner. Photo taken from south staircase. Note that this picture is geometrically much distorted, whereas the views below are not.
I arrived at the orangerie in late October, just as the very first of the tender potted plants was being moved inside for protection from winter frosts. So the gates to the orangerie garden , and the doors into the orangerie itself were open, and contrary to what I had been told, public access amongst the citrus trees was not restricted.
A tall palm, Phoenix canariensis(?), was a strange sight being trundled towards its winter home.
Here, the first two citrus pots are being placed into position inside the orangerie building
The orangerie plants are all potted in the traditional, and much copied, wooden "Versailles Planters". Made from stout tongue-and-groove boards held together with hinged metal bands. Pulling out the hinge pins allows the whole side to be removed. This original, 'knock-down' construction makes for easy re-potting into the next size planter.
The plants themselves are neatly labelled with a Chateau de Versailles numbered tag, but so far I have failed to obtain any information about variety names.
A few of the citrus are, however, labelled with a variety name in German. These originate from the 1999 donation by the tractor and garden machinery manufacturer Kubota. Sent from the Island of Mainau, in Lake Constance, southern Germany, they were a duplicate set of the collection of historic cultivars imported from Sicily to Mainau in 1990.
page created 31st October 2007