Gardens, classical and contemporary at Grand Palais

I was surprised to find out that Laurent Le Bon, president of the Picasso museum and formerly at Pompidou Metz, was the curator of the much awaited show of « Jardins » at Grand Palais. I had noticed his wit at the opening of the Picasso exhibition in CDG airport a month ago and he was just as much fun while pointing … Read More

Another magical “Journée des Plantes” at Chantilly

It was once again a fascinating day at Chantilly’s Journée des Plantes where garden magicians brought in new species and colorful autumn trees. Roy Lancaster, the famous British botanist, who is a member of the Jury, was once more amazed by the creativity of French, Belgian and British nurseries and three Prizes went to the « Jardins d’Ecoute s’il pleut », a … Read More

Sicily, land of contrasts

Spending a week in Borgo Bonsignore, in Southern Sicily, is like traveling through time and history: never had I encountered such contrasts as this year, on my third trip to Casa Platani.

Cornwall, old and new

I have been going to Cornwall for 25 years and every time my heart pounds with excitement as I drive from Exeter airport to Penzance and Land’s End. This year was full of surprises with a new sculpture garden in Gulval and more delicious trendy cafés, which took over from the Tate St Ives.

A great Alexander at Vaux le Vicomte

Visiting the gardens of Vaux-le-Vicomte in a golf cart at 9 am, when no one is around but a few gardeners, is probably the most privileged thing I have done for a long time. Alexandre de Vogüé, the second son of Patrice and his Italian wife Cristina, the present owners, is in charge of marketing and fundraising for the most … Read More

Christian Dior in his childhood house

I had not been to Granville, Normandy, since I was a child and when I arrived after a three and a half hour drive from Paris, I felt blissfully happy. The five miles long beach at low tide and the magnificent views from fashion designer Christian Dior‘s childhood house, gave me the feeling of privileged beauty. Bought by the town … Read More

Versailles so exciting and… so frustrating

Olafur Eliasson’s Waterfall is prodigious Going to Versailles is always very exciting and very frustrating. This time was no exception and I am going to give you a tip so you don’t have the same misadventures I had. There are three reasons to go this summer : first Olafur Eliasson’s water projects, second the exhibition “Versailles and the American Independence” … Read More

Great Britain for ever

On a recent golfing trip to Southern England, playing the unforgettable Rye and Royal St George’s courses, I discovered by chance Goodnestone Park gardens, three miles from our inn and unknown to the inn keeper ! It is “Sissinghurst without the crowds” as a garden critic puts it…