In Alain Baraton's Versailles, every grove tells a story. As the gardener-in-chief, Baraton lives on its grounds, and since 1982 has devoted his life to the gardens, orchards, and fields that were loved by France's kings and queens as much as the palace itself. His memoir introduces readers to the private side of this living monument, and captures the essence of the connection between gardeners and the earth they tend, no matter how humble or grand. With the charm of a natural storyteller, Baraton weaves his own path as a gardener with the life of the Versailles grounds, giving rich descriptions of this legendary place and the history it has witnessed, but also its quieter life that he feels privileged to know. The same gardens that hosted the lavish lawn parties of Louis XIV and the momentous meeting between Marie Antoinette and the Cardinal de Rohan remain enchanted places where visitors try to get themselves locked in at night, lovers go looking for secluded hideaways, and elegant grandmothers secretly make cuttings to take back to their own gardens.
A tremendous bestseller in France, The Gardener of Versailles proves that the highest goal of a garden, even one as famous as that of Versailles, is to make a personal connection.
Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications