Gardens of the Grand Trianon, Versailles
The gardens of the Grand Trianon are smaller than the extensive formal grounds of the estate but are impressive nonetheless. Trianon is the palace of gardens, every room has a view of the gardens, which are entirely devoted to flowers, with a stunning number of varieties chosen for their colors and scents. “The tuberoses drive us away from Trianon every evening,” Madame de Maintenon wrote in a letter dated 8 August 1689. “The excess of fragrance causes men and women to feel ill.” All the decoration, paintings and panel sculptures are based on flowers.
I didn't take a lot of pictures, we will have to come back, so for once this will be a short post. It is really nice just to stand in the shade of the portico and enjoy the view. This would be a great place for some lawn chairs, a bucket of beers and a barbecue. Even though the scale of this place is still like an Italian palace, it just seems more livable than the main Palace.
That water in the distance behind the trees is called the bottom fountain. It wasn't on the day we visited. The gardens are beautiful, I wish they had more roses to give their fragrance. Empress Josephine loved roses, she produced the first written history of the cultivation of roses, and is believed to have hosted the first rose exhibition, in 1810. In 1799 while Napoleon was in Egypt, Josephine purchased the Chateau de Malmaison. Josephine took a personal interest in the gardens and the roses, and learned a great deal about botany and horticulture from her staff. Josephine wanted to collect all known roses so Napoleon ordered his warship commanders to search all seized vessels for plants to be forwarded to Malmaison.
Pierre-Joseph Redouté, the most celebrated of all flower painters and illustrators, was commissioned by her to paint the flowers from her gardens. Les Roses was published 1817-20 with 168 plates of roses; 75-80 of the roses grew at Malmaison. The technique perfected by Redouté and his team of engravers was to print the illustrations in colour from stipple-engraved plates, working from the original watercolour paintings he made on vellum. Stipple-engraving favoured extremely delicate gradations of tone, rendered by dots rather than lines or cross-hatching. All the main colours were meticulously dabbed onto a single plate before each impression was taken. The resulting colour print was then finished off by hand, usually by Redouté himself. A single original page from one of the volumes goes for about 18,000 dollars.
Modern hybridization of roses through artificial, controlled pollination began with Josephine’s horticulturalist Andre Dupont. Prior to this, most new rose cultivars were spontaneous mutations or accidental, bee-induced hybrids, and appeared rarely. With controlled pollination, the appearance of new cultivars grew exponentially. Of the roughly 200 types of roses known to Josephine, Dupont had created 25 while in her employ. The rose Souvenir de la Malmaison appeared in 1844, 30 years after her death, named in her honor by a Russian Grand Duke planting one of the first specimens in the Imperial Garden in St. Petersburg.
As I said, the fountains were not on when we visited but this is the Buffet d’eau fountain with the water on. In 1703 Hardouin-Mansart had this fountain, also called the Cascade, built on the same axis as the Trianon-sous-Bois wing’s northern end. It was decorated with different coloured marbles ornamented with lead sculptures by Mazière, Le Lorrain, Hardy, Poirier and Van Clève.
If you love flowers, plants, birds and animals, then you are in the right place. I love nature photography and combined with my love of birds, flowers and travel I have decided to create a place to present photographs and information on my favorites. This is a revision of my previous website traveltoeat.com since I become old (and fat) and I have become more interested in photography than eating.
I live in Las Vegas but I travel frequently in the southwest, California and in fact around the world. While Las Vegas would seem to be an unusual choice with regards to plants and birds it is an unusually busy place due to Pacific Migration Flyway which comes through Las Vegas. Since this is a desert, the birds are concentrated in the many springs, seeps, lakes and parks in and around Las Vegas, making for really great birding.
Kurt Buzard MD
Since the previous blog focused on travel and eating, there will be a fair amount of focus on history beautiful architecture and food. However, both in the past and today I am always interested in a good garden, zoo, safari or hike.My idea of a perfect day is to be surrounded by flowers, insects, animals and birds, I hope my photographs and descriptions will inspire you in your own travels and hikes.