Things people think about when they hear the former Queen of France’s name include eating cake, Sofia Coppola films, and guillotines. One thing that doesn’t automatically come to mind, for some reason or another, is Marie Antoinette’s appreciation for exquisite gardens. A shame, because after taking over the residence of Madame de Pompadour (yes, the inspiration for the famous haircut) in 1774, the famous Petit Trianon, she transformed the grounds into an enchanted landscape with few comparisons.
Sadly, you don’t get the actual experience of seeing and smelling the Madonna Lilies or picking strawberries in the Queen’s Hamlet by flipping through Marie-Antoinette’s Garden (Flammarion/Rizzoli), but through the impressively researched book by Elisabeth de Feydeau, we get an idea of how the grounds were laid out, and some of the plants and flowers the Queen saw on a daily basis, thanks in part to illustrations of the herbarium by botanist and painter for Marie Antoinette’s cabinet, Pierre-Joseph Redouté.
Iris from the French Garden
Apricot from the Queen’s Garden
Tuberose from the French Garden
Orange from the French Garden
Cabbage Rose from The Temple of Love