British bliss in Gloucestershire

  Flying to Heathrow and being welcomed by an immigration officer as tough as if I was an undocumented Mexican trying to enter the US was not a good surprise but as soon as I was on the M4 driving west into the sunset, I felt blissfully happy. At Stancombe Park, Gloucestershire, a magical garden with an 19 th century … Read More

Le Lude, a modern days fairy tale castle and now a book!

When I was a little girl, my mother used to drive me to the « Sons et lumière » of Château du Lude, a fairy tale castle in the Sarthe, between le Mans and Tours. We always stopped at Malicorne, a faïence manufacture where we watched artists paint tea cups and plates by hand. At the time, Pia d’Orléans Bragance, Comtesse de … Read More

Peter the Great at Versailles and more goodies

The Grand Trianon at Versailles was used by General de Gaulle for state visits and it was one of Emmanuel Macron’s great « coup » to invite Vladimir Putin there, for the inauguration of « Peter the Great, a tsar in France », an exhibition conceived with St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum, to celebrate one of history’s greatest monarchs’ visit to France, 300 years … Read More

Morienval, Longpont, Royaumont, a holy week end

Ascension week end is traditionnally a four day holiday in France and this year, the temperature was the highest (in the 90’s) since it was first recorded in 1900. So everyone took advantage of the sunny days to wander in the country. And I drove around l’Oise, a department north of Paris, checking three different abbeys for you. What wonderful … Read More

Courson to Chantilly, a true success

Attending the Journées des plantes in Chantilly (formerly in Courson), twice a year in October and in May, could sound repetitive, but for me it is a renewed and awaited pleasure for I discover new gardners and new plants every time. Last week, the sun was shining, Prince Amyn Aga Khan was running around buying plants for his garden in … Read More

Normandy’s inspired writers

It is always a great pleasure to attend an opening at Jérôme Marcadé’s gallery near Théâtre de l’Odéon. « Jardins en Art » is a very special spot with a lovely courtyard for cocktail parties, and a good selection of sculptures, photographs, paintings and mostly, books on gardens. This time the owner was presenting his own book « Lieux d’inspiration », Houses and gardens … Read More

Happy Premier Mai!

I picked these especially for you in my garden so you can share what all Parisians enjoy on May 1st. Everyone in France is allowed to sell lily of the valley on the streets of Paris or on country roads. The communist party which celebrates the First of May as their official Labor Day (fête du travail), usually sells it … Read More

Pierre-Joseph Redouté, a master of flowers

Nicknamed the « Raphaël of flowers », Pierre-Joseph Redouté spent almost 60 years collecting and identifying flowers that he then meticulously painted. His artistic talent rivals his scientific rigor as we can see at Musée de la Vie Romantique, in the first ever exhibition devoted to his art in France. There are 250 items celebrating flowers and the garden of the museum, … Read More