From the bastides of Provence to the affluent gardens along the Riviera, this book unfolds an entirely new vista of garden designs, images, and experiences.
From the bastides of Provence to the affluent gardens along the Riviera, this book unfolds an entirely new vista of garden designs, images, and experiences. The over 500 illustrations, including 375 in full color, depict a rich and fascinating area of France where gardens have been at the center of social life for centuries. These are contrasting types of gardens - the provencal bastides dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries retain the geometrical character of Renaissance gardens, while the garden culture of the coastal enclaves softens lines and forms with recollections of romantic Italy and Victorian England, and exploits the possibilities of luxuriant trees and shrubs. Yet these opposite types are united by their various responses to the challenges of a shared cluster of microclimates. Sections of the book that discuss the social, economic, and climatic conditions of the area are followed by detailed and illustrated entries on 50 individual gardens. Each is described along with its history, and both plants and features such as fountains, statuary, and pergolas are itemized. A plan of each garden, accompanied by numerous views, makes this section of fundamental importance to the history of French gardens and - since many late nineteenth and early twentieth century gardens on the Riviera were created by international designers like Ferdinand Bac and Harold Peto - to the literature of modern garden history.