Once the hunting grounds and retreat of the monarchy and wealthy, all that changed during the revolution and eventually the city of Paris acquired the substantial parkland with its chateau, orangerie, trianon and other buildings.
The gardens are beautiful and very enjoyable on a summery afternoon. They have had many additions and refurbishments over the years but essentially are a parkland, a chateau with parterre - a rather plain parterre, and a series of gardens to display particular species, colour, groups and styles.
The rose garden is stunning and the roses were at their very best on a warm May afternoon. The smell as you wandered into the garden is beautiful. The rose garden is laid out formally and has over 1200 roses in it displayed as bush, climber etc.
There is an iris garden set down and surrounded by walls of green. The irises are mixed and matched through the garden to display a blaze of colour. Like a colourful painting.
The potager and jardin des presentateurs were however the highlights. They were interesting and inspiring and beautifully designed and executed.
We wandered for hours through the parkland watching the populace enjoy the picnic under the trees, the shaded seats along hidden alleyways, the grottos and waterfalls. We are feeling it with our terribly sore feet and legs now!
I enjoyed the bagatelle immensely and found lots of fabulous ideas and inspiration, but most of all it was truly enjoyable....which really is what a garden should be.