xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' Karen Wagner garden & design: Chateau de Malmaison

Monday, 9 May 2011

Chateau de Malmaison

 Malmaison isn't  too far from Paris and  has been on my list of places I wanted to see for some time, so off we went.  It did prove somewhat more complicated than we anticipated to get there due to some metro closures and it was also a Sunday.  But a little longer doesn't matter.
Chateau de Malmaison is famous because of its association with Josephine and Napolean Bonaparte.  She made it her principal  residence after she married Napolean Bonaparte and became Her Royal Highness. There are lots of interesting books about Napolean and Josephine and the campaigns if you are interested in reading them...some are quite fascinating.
And in garden terms...Josephine was well known for establishing a parkland, garden and developing a botanical collection of roses and establishing a rose garden.
Sadly the garden in modern day times is sad and slightly disappointing. It doesn't quite match the paintings and depictions of the simple but grand gardens that matched the chateau of Josephine Bonaparte in their hayday.  They have been let go somewhat.  Which in actual fact surprised us as the French are usually very good at keeping gardens looking fabulous.  Not manicured often, as the wild and blousy look is just as popular as the clipped and formal public park look.
The parkland at mailmason was however lovely.  Wild and lush and full of huge tress in final spring green flush. Trees of 'splendour' and importance were duly marked.  We wanted the path through the parkland, cathching glimpses of the chateau and viewing the statuettes and enormous urns strategically placed for pleasure.  You can certainly imagine taking a stroll through this everyday as ladies of the castle!

On the other hand, the chateau itself was a revelation of gilt, decadance and superb detail. Certainly not on the scale of versaille, but the artistry of the decoration was gorgeous.

So for something interesting in terms of history and chateau, definitely worth the trek.  But for the garden, unless they suddenly start renovating and doing better.......unfortunately don't bother. 

 the orignal garden plans laid out by the architect that Josephine commissioned.

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