Presentation and history
It all began in 1969, when my parents left their native Aveyron to settle in Giroussens.
They bought a farm and its lands to set themselves up as farmers.
As they had always had a passion for flowers, they started laying out the surroundings of the farm by creating beautiful clumps and large turfed paths.
During the years 1975/1980, they took part in the bloom Tarn's farms contests and won the first prizes several times.
THE STARTING POINT
In the middle of the summer 1994, many people contacted us to come and visit our garden after reading an article in a local newspaper.
Seeing how the people were pleased by the visit, an idea came to our minds : « Why wouldn’t we open the garden to the public ? »
As I wanted to set up as a nurseryman, this was the best way to attract people.
So the following winter, we made up our minds to enlarge the garden passing from 10.000 to 20.000 m2.
The works took place in March and lasted a month. We took advantage of the market of the potters of Giroussens to open the garden and the first visitors walked upon the young lawns at the end of April 1994.
For us, it was a new start and the beginning of THE GARDENS OF THE MARTELS.
On the first year, we greeted around 3000 people. The years have been going by and the projects have been carried out.
Conversion of a breeding building into an exotic glasshouse, creation of the mini-farm in the old duck breeding park, planting of coloured clumps in an undergrowth. Those successive developments made the number of visitors grow from 15.000 in 1995 to 23.000 in 1996 and to 35.000 in 1997.
In the winter 1998, we started the excavations of the future terrace gardens, and opened them in April 2000.
THE UPPER CATEGORY
Considering the growing number of visitors, and the problems it can generate, we decided to build a 400m2 hall which could cater for public reception, car park, garden center and train access.
Having few financial means, we did the tasks ourselves, which lasted 16 months.
In June 2001, we inaugurated the building.
In the spring 2002, we fitted out the wedding room which unable us to receive the wedding aperitifs in case of bad weather.
In the spring 2004, we turned old pits into water lily, tortoise and fish ponds
Summer 2009, transformation of a part of terraced gardens and installation of the lotus temple.
In 2013, creation of water features in the garden entrance.
In 2014, lotus temple will be joined by a Balinese Jogglo and staircase waterfall.
The number of visitors is now between 42.000 and 47.000.
We still go on modernising the gardens by creating new clumps in bloom for the greatest joy of our visitors.
And new projects are bubbling up in our minds to share our passion with everyone.