Le Bocage has a beautiful park planted with a wide variety of age-old trees.
At the time of the construction of the château, some 150 years ago, many trees were imported from all parts of the world.
The trees include a giant sequoia having a circumference of 582 cm, but also lindens, beeches, chestnuts and horse chestnuts, a walnut tree, a weeping Pagoda tree, plane trees, an ash and a maple tree, but also a Norwegian maple tree, an Austrian pine, a silver pine, common and pedunculate oaks, locusts and false acacias, and impressive box and yew trees, coloring the park green also in winter.
Finally, there is a Ginkgo biloba which is more than twenty meters in height. Because of its age of approx 140 years it is regarded as one of the oldest in Europe!
Below you will find more information about some of the trees.
The Ginkgo biloba, or ginkgo, belongs to the Ginkgoaceae family. It is also known as maidenhair tree. In ancient Japan it was placed in gardens and in China at temples. The ginkgo is considered a living fossil, as it is the only surviving species of both the Ginkgo genus and the Ginkgoaceae family.
It is said that in China the seeds of the tree have been used for thousands of years already for the treatment of respiratory problems, digestive disorders, bladder and kidney diseases, hearing loss and other ailments. Extracts of ginkgo leaves have been used to improve the blood circulation and to alleviate respiratory problems, hearing and memory loss, skin diseases, radiation sickness and anxiety.
This tree, also called lime and belonging to the Malvaceae family, was considered sacred by Celtic and Teutonic civilizations. It was dedicated to Freya, the goddess of love, justice, domestic bliss and fertility. The spirit of the linden was said to protect houses, sources and churches. In later periods also, the tree was regarded as 'good tree'. During marriages celebrated under it, the lovers would leave their thumb-prints in the bark. A linden branch would help alleviate children's toothaches and as an amulet it has been used as protection against witches and evil spirits.
Before the invention of sugar refining, the tree was important because its blossom produces a richly flavoured honey. The flowers of the linden are used for tisanes and tinctures in herbal medicine practices.
The Pagoda tree or Sophora japonica on the estate is very remarkable by its shape (it resembles a large mammoth) and old age. Its leaves are incredibly soft and closely grown.
This tree is native to China and Korea; in Japan it is used as temple tree and on cemeteries. In 1747, a French Jesuit sent the first Pagoda tree seeds to the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. In August and September the tree grows yellow to cream white flowers forming a panicle of up to 30 cm in length. The flowers contain a lot of nectar and are therefore much visited by honey bees.