13 October 2012

Dreaming of a Sunday on a Summer's day in a Paris Garden

Spending a Sunday in the glorious Jardins de Bagatelle is a wonderful way to appreciate nature and literally slow down for a few hours to smell the roses.
 After spending a hectic time punishing the poor old feet on the streets of Paris, we packed a picnic ...

... and navigated the Metro and a bus to reach our destination.

Situated inside the Bois de Boulogne in the 16th arrondissement on the western edge of Paris, these gardens cover an area of 58 acres and were originally the property of the Comte d'Artois who happened to be the brother in law of Queen Marie Antoinette.
The story goes that in 1775 she wagered he could not build a garden in 64 days and thanks to the 900 men who worked around the clock the Comte won the bet.
                                                            A bagatelle, or mere trifle, he declared !

The gardens were conceived by Thomas Blaikie in an Anglo- Chinese style with woods, shady lawns and water gardens with waterfalls and grottoes. There is even a pavilion of love.






First stop past Marie Antoinette's miniature pink chateau is the peony patch with its perfect blooms.




  Then on to see the graceful white swans glide across the little lake covered with water lilies.






Pause to marvel some more at nature and attempt to photograph the splendid tail feathers on the proud peacocks that strut around freely.

  

 Smile as a mother duck hurries her large family of eleven baby ducklings across the grass to a safer place.

 The park is filled with the most wonderful trees from all over the world.  I love these little bird houses, don't you ?


                                                               Time to eat in this tranquil spot ...


Through this beautiful arch which was covered in roses on this visit.  I promised to return some day soon when the white wisteria is at its best.


                                     It is lovely to see people of all ages enjoying this splendid garden.





The walls in this section are covered in clematis entwined with climbing roses - simply stunning!



The herb gardens, vegetable patches and fruit trees are also worth a look.

Each year even the scare crows are different.




The iris garden is worth a visit in its own right - it contains every variety and colour you can think of 
- even Van Gogh would be inspired.

Then it is past the pretty pavilion where summer concerts are conducted and into the truly breathtaking rose garden.

Added in 1904 the roseraie was designed by Jean Claude Nicolas Forsteier and now has over 9,000 rose bushes with 1,000 different varieties.

I am always immediately attracted to the pink buds and blooms, but there are creams and yellows and oranges and  reds
 - each one special and beautiful.

                              The annual competition for new roses has been held here every June since 1907.

                                           Try as you may, no photo can quite capture the splendour of it all.




                               The bees were as happy as can be and I ask you, just who wouldn't be !



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