Garden Photo of the Day

Maria’s visit to Versailles

South Parterre. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming

Happy Monday, everyone! Let’s start off the week in grand fashion with some photos from Maria Fleming, who gardens in Ottawa, Ontario. But we’re not seeing Maria’s garden today. Instead, she’s sharing some images from her visit to Versailles a couple of years ago.

Orangerie. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming

Maria says, “I had the opportunity to visit France and Belgium during August, 2010. Given the summer visit, my plan was to be somewhat garden oriented so I took opportunities to visit some famous and not so famous parks and landmarks. My first destination was Versailles, which is an easy trainride from Paris.

Orangerie. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming

“Versailles was the home of many French Monarchs, particularly the “Sun King” Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. They did extensive renovations and construction to the property and gardens, culminating in the show place it is now.

Modern artscape. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming

“The large palace was lavishly gold-gilded and created to impress the public. The gardens closest to the palace reflect this formality. Elaborate water features that ‘play’ at certain times are throughout the property. Further away is the farm estate and country surroundings designed by Marie Antoinette to “get away from it all.” The Tower, Billiard Rooms, and Queens’ House are all in this planned estate.”

French Pavillion & Gardens. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming

Wow. Just…wow. Gorgeous, Maria! **Maria has promised to send photos from more of garden destinations, like Giverny, Monet’s famous gardens, and others in France and Belgium. Can’t wait!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming

**You guys are sending me some INCREDIBLE garden photos! I think my begging last week did the trick. Keep sending them in! I love having too much to choose from….feast and famine, and all that…

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming
Billiard Room. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming
Marlborough Tower. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming
Queen’s house. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming

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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/04/2013

    Ha, I never thought I'd say this but, "I'm with her" meaning Marie Antoinette and her desire for less formality in her surroundings....not that the Queen's House isn't impressively grand. These are fascinating pictures and show a level of garden maintenance that I can't even begin to imagine. Can't wait to vicariously share more of your travels, Maria

  2. Quiltingmamma 02/04/2013

    Well, meander1, perhaps you don't want to be with MA. It was over this kind of excess and disconnect from reality that she and her king were removed from Versailles, incarcerated and eventually killed. She even went to the extent of perfuming her 'farm' sheep. But it is a lovely place to visit. Her actual Petit Trianon - which was her regular 'get away' was small and quite rustic, just no pictures to show. It is a huge estate, and the water features with appropriate music playing, is really what seems to capture the show.

  3. tractor1 02/04/2013

    The planters in that Modern Artscape photo are unique in that they can be rotated peridically so light strikes the entire plant equally on all sides. It also appears that whoever was shearing those tall shrubs ran out of ladder height or the tops were left uncut intentionally. Thank you Maria, for the grand tour.

  4. Quiltingmamma 02/04/2013

    Good eye's Tractor1. I never noticed that!They should have big ladders or 'cherry pickers' as there are a LOT of hedges and trees to trim particularly in the upper gardens below the Orangerie. Better they than me.

  5. user-7006916 02/04/2013

    Oh, this is lovely. I'm going to arrange my orangerie just like this come spring.

  6. pattyspencer 02/04/2013

    Wow - I think the Organgerie pics are my favorite!

  7. CJgardens 02/04/2013

    I enjoyed the humorous comments today and the gardens are pretty grand too. I agree with meander about the maintenance requirements being beyond imagination. I've never travelled to Europe so I was delighted to see photos of many familiar plants; dahlias, cosmos, salvia, larkspur, etc. Looking forward to photos of Monet's gardens.

  8. grannieannie1 02/06/2013

    It has the "Wow" factor and a place to see once, which I have, but like most formal gardens, it misses "charming" by a mile, and I've never wished to recreate any of it in my own garden. That's my 2 cents.

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