June to October 2022 • Press release

An animal-themed garden

At the Grand Trianon, June to October 2022

This summer, visitors to the Grand Trianon will be treated to a temporary animal-themed garden. Following on from the African-inspired garden of 2020 and 2021’s monochromatic full green immersion, this year’s parterres have been turned into a fantastical menagerie in a nod to the The King’s Animals exhibition, and a shining example of the Palace of Versailles’ commitment to biodiversity. 

Creature creativity 

For 2022, the Trianon’s gardeners have dreamt up a whimsical botanical stroll, during which members of the public are invited to make out shapes of animals hidden in the parterres’ plants. Shrimp plant (Justicia brandegeana), parrot’s beak (Lotus maculatus), viper’s bugloss (Echium fastuosum) and bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) blossom across the upper parterre in a selection of flowers named and shaped like animals. Visitors of all ages will enjoy trying to spot glimpses of animals in the curve of a petal, coat patterns in the spray of a corolla, and beaks in the intriguing lines of a leaf. 

In a nod to bees, the sentinels of biodiversity, Napoleon Bonaparte’s emblem and some of the Grand Trianon’s most popular residents, the lower parterre will be transformed into a meadow of blue and white wildflowers, scattered with black-and-yellow flowers to mirror our fuzzy friends.

Three new hives will be installed nearby to facilitate pollination, adding to those first set up at the Trianon in 2019. These hives offer precious insight into the diversity of the Versailles grounds’ flora: the Palace gardens have drawn on an eco-friendly, environmentally-responsible approach for many years now.


Keeping botanical tradition alive

Every year, after months of intense research and planting, the gardeners roll out a whole new botanical design across the Grand Trianon’s parterres. In the 18th century, Louis XV turned the Trianon grounds into a veritable playground of botanical experimentation, with the gardens ultimately boasting Europe’s most famous collection, home to 4,000 different varieties of plants. Now nearly three centuries later, the Palace of Versailles is striving to keep this botanical tradition living on. 


The King’s Animals: a virtual tour

Following on from the successful The King’s Animals exhibition, the Palace of Versailles brings visitors a guided tour with extra added content, allowing members of the public to delve deeper into the incredible menagerie and thousands of animals that lived at the palace during the Ancien Régime.

Available in French and English at:

Press release


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Grand Trianon

© Palace of Versailles - T. Garnier

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Shrimp plant (Justicia brandegeana)

© Palace of Versailles - T. Garnier

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Parrot’s beak (Lotus maculatus)

© Palace of Versailles - T. Garnier

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Viper’s bugloss (Echium fastuosum)

© Palace of Versailles - T. Garnier

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Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

© Palace of Versailles - T. Garnier

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