This little garden is a remnant of the gardens of an old Castle which was close to this site, it predates the development of Rochefort as a naval base. In a late 17th century description of the area it mentions fruit trees, a flower garden, a kitchen garden, a meadow and even two cows.
By the 19th century most of this was gone and all that remained was the present small site along the Rue Toufaire. The site did belonged to the Navy but was taken over by the city of Rochefort in 2002 when it was declared an Educational garden heritage site.
It is used and maintained by local school children. It has the advantages of being walled and protected, so that at night it is closed and no one can gain access. Also the municipal gardeners have an imput in terms of advising on what should be planted and when and where.More recently in 2010, a partnership was established with the LPO (http://www.lpo.fr/) to strengthen the ecological aspect of the place.The site is also used for cultural events, concerts and tours. The old Orangery, greenhouses and cold frames have been renovated. There is a good website (http://lepotagerduroy.over-blog.com/) produced I think by the schools who now look after the gardens and on the site you can see lots of photos showing their work and progress.