Monday, October 6, 2008


I try to keep these posts seasonal, so I have been waiting for autumn to arrive before posting any photos of my trip to Fontainebleau last October.

Fontainebleau Palace is a short train ride away from Paris, and is one of the larger French chateaux. It abuts the Fontainebleau forest, and thus was a popular destination for royals to hunt game.

The site demonstrates most of the classical design fundamentals you would experience in the more famous chateaux of Versailles or Vaux le Vicomte.

Long allees or canals are sited on axis with fountains and other similar punctuation marks.

There's a very clear line between the landscape that has been contained or controlled by man and the woods that are kept at bay beyond.

And of course, sculpture and topiary -- essentially a sculpture of plants -- are utilized in the formal gardens.

Finally, tiers of varying elevation create the experience of limitless landscape.

It's a beautiful landscape and on the other side of the chateau more intimate gardens exist, complete with plant ID tags, which is always helpful when you are among potentially unfamilar plants.

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