The French Formal Garden

The French formal garden, also called the jardin à la française, is a style of garden based on symmetry and the principle of imposing order on nature.

The entrance to the garden begins the journey.

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FIVE of the most famous and beautiful gardens in France

  • Monet’s Garden – in Giverny France (an old province of Normandy)
  • The Gardens of Versailles – in Versailles France
  • Château de Villandry – in the Loire Valley of France – formal gardens with a maze
  • Jardin des Tuileries – found right in the heart of Paris – 1st arrondissment
  • Bagatelle Gardens – in Paris in the 16th arrondissement

This post will focus only on Versailles ‘ gardens – an abbreviated nod to the  importance of  gardens,  fountains and sculptures.

The Entrance to Versailles and its Gardens

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Below you see the grande scale to which Versailles was envisioned circa 1789

1920s Leconte Map of Versailles Gardens | 1664 Franse tuin: koppeling landschaft & macht, symmetrie, Axialität/allignment -> intimidatie, structuur, natuur wordt 'aangepast' machtspel, 'touwtjes in de hand', onderwerping en dominatie:

Versailles was originally a country village with great hunting; today, however, it is a suburb of Paris, some 16 kilometers (10 miles) southwest of the French capital.

The palace was built to impress. “Versailles is a mirage, a sumptuous and theatrical entertainment. It is also a manifestation of glory and power imposed to a great extent by art, luxury, and magnificence.”

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Monet’s Gardens – Giverny, France

Claude Monet 

Impressionist Painter  1840-1926

When you visit Paris, France it is sometimes difficult to image the calm, serene and grass flowered land that is less than an hour outside of the city.  On a visit to France we made time to take an excursion to see the gardens of Claude Monet.  Like Paris, it did not disappoint.

My journey began in the little town of Vernon. Vernon and Giverny are synonymous – Vernon is the pulse of the area with the markets, town square and shopping, while Giverny is country roads and the quite of a simple lifestyle.

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