Paris & London/Chelsea Flower Show
May 17-26, 2008 Tour

May 18, Day 2.

After breakfast, a full day excursion to the magnificent Château de Versailles, centre of political power in France under Louis XIV. Built and enlarged over the course of a century, the Château itself is breathtaking inside, with the Royal Chapel and Hall of Mirrors (where the Treaty of Versailles, was ratified), and outside, with the Gardens, Grand Canal and Fountain of Neptune. 36,000 people were employed to build the palace. It was started in 1660 and finished in 1685 by Louis LeVau and Jules Hardouin-Mansart. André Le Nôtre designed the gardens and in 1677 Louis XIV moved the court there. You cannot believe how impressive this palace is until you have seen it for yourself. The Hall of Mirrors is awesome in itself. Versailles is the most famous garden in the world. Yet ‘garden’ is scarcely a fitting description. The scale is monumental. Versailles was designed as a palatial centre of government for an absolute monarch, Louis XIV. It is resplendent as the prime example of the French Baroque style. Walpole saw Versailles as ‘the gardens of a great child’. Avenues project from Louis XIV’s palace towards distant horizons, enfolding town, palace, garden and forest. There are immaculate parterres, great basins, an orangery, a vast collection of outdoor sculpture and some of the grandest fountains which have ever been made plus a grand canal. The park and garden were designed by Andre Le Nôtre between 1661 and 1700. The Grand Trianon, another formal garden, was built on the site of a former village. Versailles also has later additions. The Petit Trianon was given to Marie-Antoinette in 1774. She favoured the irregular style, with hills, rocks and streams. I can still smell those orange blossoms in the Orangery….

I was able to also walk around the Village of Versailles and managed to take a lot more pictures this time, plus we made time for a cappuccino!




  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row