Garden policy: FRANCE


 Institution(s) in charge


 Other actors

  • Société nationale d’horticulture de France (SNHF)
    84 rue de Grenelle – 75007 PARIS Tel: 01 44 39 78 78
    The Société Nationale d’Horticulture de France was set up in 1827 as a way for plant and garden lovers to exchange information. Its members are united by a common belief in the importance of sharing and respecting the plant world and the environment in general. The aim of the association is to disseminate horticultural culture and skills.
  • Fédération Française du Paysage (FFP)
    4 rue Hardy – 78000 VERSAILLES Tel: 01 30 21 47 45
    The Fédération Française du Paysage is an organisation representing professional landscape designers. With over 650 members and concerns ranging from landscape issues to promoting the profession, it is well placed to deal with any changes relating to qualifications, training, ethics and professional conduct, development etc.
  • HORTIS – les responsables d’espaces nature en ville
    55 rue Jean-Baptiste Corot – 18000 BOURGES Tel: 06 26 92 29 14 
    This association of managers of public green spaces and gardens was set up in 1936 by Eugène Le Graverend. Acting as an umbrella organisation, it provides professionals with opportunities to interact and capitalise on their expertise. The network is dedicated to promoting nature in urban areas, by marrying landscape and diversity in response to city dwellers’ needs in terms of amenities. The association publishes a quarterly magazine “De ville en ville” and holds an annual conference.


 Relevant legislation

As immovable assets, parks and gardens which are of historical, artistic or architectural interest can be protected under the Heritage Code (book VI, titles I and II) on the ground that they are historic monuments.

There are two levels of protection: listing and inscription, with listing being the higher of the two.

Since 2017, the 7th section of the National Commission for Heritage and Architecture (CNPA) has been responsible for parks and gardens, both for opinions on classification proposals and on works.


 Protection measures

2594 gardens are protected as historic monuments, of which 638 are listed and 1963 “inscribed”.

Of these 2594 gardens protected as historic monuments, 522 are owned by the state and 1984 are privately owned. 

4,700 parks and gardens are inventoried. The practice of compiling “preinventories” of gardens was first introduced in 1981 by the Ministry of Infrastructure (Landscape Unit of the Sub-directorate for Protected Areas), and was later adopted by the environment and culture ministries in 1985.

Together, these three ministries share responsibility for overseeing historic gardens. Sixty-four of France’s départements have been covered, 15 regions have been fully pre-inventoried and 8 regions only partially. 4,700 gardens have been examined so far. Publicising the findings of these investigations has been a challenge for the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Culture, which have arranged for the pre-inventories to be digitised. The information became available to the public in 2004 when data were transferred to the Heritage Open Platform  database.


 Existing inventories

  • Pre-inventory of parks and gardens. In the early 1980s, an operation to compile an inventory of “gardens of botanical, historical or landscape interest” revealed the tremendous wealth of France’s  parks and gardens. Thanks to this exercise, over 4,700 factsheets on the parks and gardens inventoried are now available for browsing in the Heritage Open Platform database. 
  • Heritage Open Platform database
  • Heritage Atlas
    The Heritage Atlas provides map-based access (by location) to cultural and heritage information. Gardens with historic monument status and gardens which have been designated “jardins remarquables” are gradually being added.  
  • Archives of parks and gardens
    A survey of the archives of France’s parks and gardens and their designers has been carried out in order to take stock of existing archive collections and identify any which are at risk so that they can be protected. This survey has led to the publication of a guide to sources for researchers. The findings are available at Archives Portal Europe (APEX).


 Online information


 Specialised training

Garden trades and training

  • History of garden art
    In-service training:  yes
    Ministry of Culture
    Opportunities for specialised training: Introduction to the history of garden art
    • Regular garden design from ancient times to the mid-18th century
    • Regular garden design from 18th century to 21st century
    • Irregular garden design from 18th century to the mid-19th century
    • Irregular garden design from the mid-19th century to the 21st century
    • Urban contemporary garden
  • Landscape interpretation 
    In-service training: yes
    Ministry of Culture
  • Courses for gardeners
    In-service training: yes
    Ministry of Culture

Opportunities for specialised training:

  • Course on “covered areas”
  • Course on “open areas”
  • Course on “garden management plans"


 Awareness-raising actions

Since 2003, the "Rendez-vous aux jardins" event has aimed to promote the richness and variety of parks and gardens and to promote exchanges between garden stakeholders (owners, gardeners, botanists, etc.) and visitors.

Conceived over three days, on the 1st weekend of June, this cultural event is more particularly reserved for school children on Fridays, while the gardens are open to all audiences on Saturdays and Sundays.

Public and private gardens of all styles, from the largest parks to the most modest gardens, whether regular or landscaped, medieval-inspired, contemporary, futuristic, nourishing, conservatories of collectible, exotic, poetic, extravagant, scientific, or therapeutic plants..., are all the fruit of human passion, of permanent attentive care, of know-how to preserve and pass on to the generations of tomorrow.

Since 2007, a study day on the annual theme has been organized each year and the proceedings of the Rendez-vous aux jardins study days are available for consultation. These study days have also been the subject of video recordings since 2021. Since 2018, some twenty European countries have chosen to partner with France to organize Rendez-vous aux jardins, on the same dates, on the same theme and with the same visual.

  • Other awareness-raising initiative:
    The art history portal is designed for education practitioners and art lovers and spans the history of garden art from ancient times to the present day.
  • Promotion
    The "Jardin remarquable" label was introduced in 2004 for parks and gardens of major historical, aesthetic or botanical interest which are open to the public, which are maintained in an exemplary and environmentally-friendly fashion, and which offer a rewarding experience for visitors. At the beginning of 2024, there were nearly 480 “jardins remarquables”, a testimony to the quality, diversity and tremendous wealth of France’s gardens. The label is awarded for a period of 5 years.
    In 2011, national commemorations were held in honour of of Édouard André (1840-1911), of André Le Nôtre (1613-1700) in 2013, Jean-Charles-Adolphe Alphand (1817-1891) in 2017 and Olivier de Serres (1539-1619) in 2019.


 Terminology tools

  • Thésaurus de la désignation des oeuvres architecturales et des espaces aménagés, Paris: Mission de l’Inventaire général du patrimoine culturel, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, 2013
  • Marie-Hélène Bénetière, Jardin – vocabulaire typologique et technique. « Principes d'analyse scientifique », Paris : Éditions du Patrimoine, 2000, 428 pages, 700 illustrations.
  • Système descriptif de l’architecture, « Documents & méthodes » n°7, Paris : Inventaire général du patrimoine culturel, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, 1999, 264 pages.



Members of the public can access an extensive collection of practical material via the culture ministry’s website: