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The Bamboo Valley: a plant treasure in Plougonver

The lush vegetation makes us travel to exotic lands. ©Manon Le Yan

Want to travel while staying close to home? Plougonver is the ready-made destination.

To The Bamboo Valley, Gilbert and Josiane Cudennec welcome you to make you discover their 8 hectares of garden where more than 5,000 trees and shrubs from all over the world are planted, including 400 different species of bamboo.

Gilbert Cudennec, and his wife Josiane, together manage La Vallée des Bambous in Plougonver.
Gilbert Cudennec, and his wife Josiane, together manage La Vallée des Bambous in Plougonver. ©Manon Le Yan

A passion for plants

Ferns, shrubs, bamboo and other plants flourish in this verdant environment that is La Vallée des Bambous.

This lush vegetation is pampered by Gilbert and Josiane. For more than 30 years, the couple of enthusiasts have been busy planting all types of plants, making their garden a true sample of plants that can be found in the world. There are, among other things, Sichuan pepper trees, banana trees or Zanthoxylum…

Throughout his travels, Gilbert brings back seeds or plants from China or South America. And when it’s not him who brings it back, it’s his friends who, once back from Canada, Brazil or Australia, bring him something to add to his collection.

Here, bamboo adapts perfectly to the Breton climate.
Here, bamboo adapts perfectly to the Breton climate. ©Manon Le Yan

Bamboo on the rise

In addition to their many plants, Gilbert and Josiane are also breeders of many animals (peacocks, geese, chickens etc.).

“We were looking for a plant for our little animals to brood on, and bamboo turned out to be the perfect solution,” says Gilbert.

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Since then, their garden has become a bamboo temple, the couple has no less than 400 different varieties, expansive or not, out of the 2,000 listed, because: “In reality there are many more, but they have not been discovered because of their difficulty of access in the mountainous regions for example”, explains Gilbert.

The Vallée des Bambous is also a place appreciated by botanists from all over the world, at the request of the latter, Gilbert and Josiane have planted some so that they can study bamboos.

Today, I have become the bamboo specialist.

Gilbert Cudennec

Most bamboo adapts to the Breton climate, moreover, it is a plant whose fibers are increasingly used to make everyday objects.

“Recently, we received a young man who makes bamboo bikes, there are also fly fishermen who use fishing rods made of bamboo, according to them, it’s ideal to feel the vibrations” , relates Gilbert.

The peacock, real mascot of the garden, walks among the bamboo and ferns.
The peacock, real mascot of the garden, walks among the bamboo and ferns. ©Manon Le Yan

Preserving biodiversity

Throughout the visit, Gilbert presents (almost) each of his plants whose Latin names he knows by heart and even the traps! With their deceptive appearances, some trees hide their secrets well, such as an oak that does not look like it or a maple with charming leaves.

The garden even shelters an Arbutus menziesii, a rare variety, there would be only 7 in France to date.

To pamper their species, Gilbert and Josiane weed only by hand.

“I sometimes use the brushcutter but I avoid it as much as possible, I don’t like it, it’s not good for the insects. I also limit mowing, when my son was younger, he forbade me to mow. recalls Gilbert.

The gardener makes every effort to preserve the fauna and flora and create a haven of peace for the animals and insects that inhabit his huge garden.

Geese, Bernache Néné, are native to the islands of Hawaii.  In danger, they found refuge with Gilbert and Josiane.
Geese, Bernache Néné, are native to the islands of Hawaii. In danger, they found refuge with Gilbert and Josiane. ©Manon Le Yan

Le Léguer below

The visit of La Vallée des Bambous lasts about two hours, enthusiasts will find what they are looking for in every corner of the garden, as for lovers of beautiful walks, they will also find what they are looking for in this exotic landscape embellished with Gilbert’s anecdotes.

Along the walk, the landscapes change, until you arrive in front of a setting worthy of a painting.

Further along the promenade, the Léguer invites itself and follows our steps, accompanied by dragonflies and damselflies.

Going up, many fragrant plants, daphnes, mints, whose essences caress our nostrils, complete the walk.

Inexhaustible, Gilbert and Josiane still have plenty of projects in mind.

Visitors have discovered all kinds of bamboo among the 400 species present in the valley.
Visitors have discovered all kinds of bamboo among the 400 species present in the valley. ©Manon Le Yan
Ferns, trees and bamboo provide a verdant landscape.
Ferns, trees and bamboo provide a verdant landscape. ©Manon Le Yan

The Bamboo Valley, 11 Kergalaon, 22810 Plougonver. Open from May 1 to October 31, Thursday to Sunday from 2 p.m. Prices: €10 adult, €5 for children under 15. Such. : 02 96 21 60 22, 07 89 70 77 17.

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