The gardens are the mirror of a past that the French state has found difficult to assume and the authorities have given the nature the role of pacifier, encouraging vegetable to destroy mineral. The reality today though is a harmonious unity

Adam Roberts, Invisible Paris

The Jardin d'Agronomie Tropicale was the setting for a colonial exhibition over 100 years ago, and a place that remained out of the public eye for most of the 20th century. Today the public has free access to the gardens, but few people seem to visit. The 1907 exhibition was based around several distinct villages representing all the corners of the French empire (Indochine, Madagascar, Congo, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco). Inhabitants from these territories were also brought over to live in these villages and be ‘observed’ by curious visitors for the duration of the exhibition.