Last Monday I went with my friend, Michelle, to the Parc de Bagatelle, a beautiful park alongside the Bois de Boulogne. Bagatelle is a smaller parc, but beautifully landscaped – here’s what their website says about its history:
Marie-Antoinette waged that the Count of Artois, who had bought this property in 1775, could not turn it into a park in 64 days. Belanger designed it and Thomas Blaikie built it, to the day’s in-vogue anglo-chinois taste.
Bagatelle park and chateau only barely eluded obliteration during the Revolution, but a string of owners altered them considerably. The orangerie, gates and stables date back to 1835, and the guard’s lodgings were built in 1870, along with the Trianon and the two terraces.
The City of Paris bought this gem in 1905 and entrusted its head gardener, Jean-Claude-Nicolas Forestier, with the restoration work. He set out to turn these gardens into a botanical domain without upsetting the harmony that the existing layout had already established. He turned the subsistence crops into showcases for collections of roses, irises, perennials, clematises, peonies and other flowers. The well-known Roseraie de Bagatelle (rose bed) which has hosted an international competition every year since 1907, is also the work of his hand.