Cover image for The secret gardens of Paris
The secret gardens of Paris
Arnoux, Alexandra d'.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Thames & Hudson, 2000.
Physical Description:
173 pages : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
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SB466.F82 P37 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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Hidden behind the elegant facades and high walls of Paris are its private gardens. Whether grandiose or miniscule, highly manicured or exuberantly untended, these gardens are a secret treasure seldom seen by the visitor to Paris. This book reveals some 50 gardens, all created with passion by their owners, often in collaboration with well-known landscape designers. Each proprietor discusses the conditions in which the garden was created, the constraints and the problems that were encountered, and explains why the final design and plantings were chosen.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Hidden behind the elegant facades of Parisian buildings are scores of magical domains, from sophisticated urban sanctuaries to picturesque pocket-size landscapes, and gardens defined by decidedly exotic attributes. Crisscrossing Paris, the authors delve into these private horticultural realms, furnishing descriptive text comprised of historical background, intimate profiles on the gardens' owners, and revealing perspectives on individual garden spaces. The tour includes stopovers at the home of President and Madame Giscard d'Estaing and the Japanese retreat of couturier Kenzo, as well as glimpses of the art nouveau style created by Hector Guimard. Eclare ushers readers into spectacular Irish garden settings, and, as garden lovers might expect, a visit to Helen Dillon's celebrated Dublin garden is a must. Eclare tells an amusing story about her first visit to the horticultural doyenne's domicile, during which she nearly trampled the plants with a ladder used for photographing. Personal asides such as this imbue the warmly written vignettes of gardeners and their beloved gardens with a beguilingly intimate tone. Equally captivating are the book's gorgeous photographs of plants, beautiful stonework, outstanding statuary, and the voluptuous floral compositions that adorn Ireland's great castle estates, rural herb growers, country guest houses, and quaint cottages. --Alice Joyce

Table of Contents

The Unknown Parisp. 6
Classical Gardensp. 9
Cool shade and brilliant light by Arabella Lennox-Boydp. 10
Classical simplicity for Hubert de Givenchyp. 16
An understated complement to a neoclassical mansionp. 23
A theatrical statement by Louis Benechp. 28
Nature harnessed to a purpose in eighteenth-century stylep. 33
Where romance is in the airp. 38
The miniature garden of an American in Parisp. 40
Originality and sensuality on the Ile Saint-Louisp. 44
A spirit of adventure expressed by Pierre Bergep. 50
A haven of peace in Saint-Germain-des-Presp. 57
A legacy of contrasts from the 1940sp. 59
President and Madame Giscard d'Estaing's garden for all seasonsp. 62
An artist's small miracle of harmony and balancep. 67
A discerning blend of shrubs and perennialsp. 70
Yves Saint Laurent's finely tailored gardenp. 75
Symmetry and luxury combined to spectacular effectp. 78
Picturesque Gardensp. 85
Nature and sculpture in a sea of greenp. 86
Recapturing the mood of the nineteenth centuryp. 91
Camille Muller's exercise in restrained luxuriancep. 96
Memories of Brittany on the Montagne Sainte-Genevievep. 103
An out-of-the-ordinary kitchen gardenp. 106
Where Napoleon's favourite actor strolledp. 110
An informal family garden in the Maraisp. 114
A feminine ambience inspired by fashion and artp. 118
The romantic indulgence of a master landscape designerp. 122
Hector Guimard's Art Nouveau garden restored to perfectionp. 129
A green oasis in a secret settingp. 134
Where the elephant stands guardp. 140
Exotic Gardensp. 145
Baron and Baronne d'Orgeval's taste of rural Russiap. 146
An Italian fantasy in a Parisian courtyardp. 150
Kenzo's Japanese landscape in miniaturep. 153
A lush Asian paradise on the Left Bankp. 158
Introducing flavours of Africa and the Orientp. 164
A garden with a spiritual dimensionp. 171