Here is a selection of gardens world-wide that were commissioned by kings, popes, sultans and industrialists. Places where the history of art of gardens was made. They are ‘must see’ on any garden lovers list, and cover many centuries in 20 countries. They were often show cases for a rich and powerful class that wanted to mark their territory and rule nature, it was only in the late 19th century that gardens were intended for community use. It is fascinating to see in this section how garden design changed and the wide range of spectacular art works like sculptures and fountains that were included. Many of these historical gardens have been passed down from father to son through the centuries and all of them are dearly loved and cared for. Over the centuries every country influenced another, spreading culture across borders, introducing new ideas. This cultural stratification is our heritage to which we can turn to find inspiration or even only for pure joy.
Discover these great gardens of the world
Vaux-le-Vicomte’s garden is the seminal expression of the Jardin à la française, the French aesthetic of formal gardens that swept Europe in the 17th century. From 1641, Nicolas Fouquet gave full rein to the genius of the renowned landscape gardener André Le Nôtre who used the latest technical, scientific and artistic knowledge of his era.
Isola Bella, together with the nearby Isola Madre, has contributed to making Stresa one of the Grand Tour destinations. Even today no tourist can escape the seduction of these places built on the water. The bulk of Palazzo Borromeo, baroque in style, the true “royal palace” of the little village once inhabited by fishermen, dominates the island.
Villandry is a Renaissance Chateau in a beautiful setting among three tiers of terraced gardens. It was the last of the great Renaissance chateaux to be built on the banks of the Loire, and its architecture combines with gardens laid out on three levels, its best-known feature, in a happy marriage of beauty, diversity, and harmony.
A romantic English-style garden, the grounds at Courson offer splendid vantage points to walkers exploring its numerous pathways. Almost 3,000 recently-planted trees and shrubs grow alongside clusters of one-hundred-year-old trees, offering magnificent picturesque views that change with each season.
Apart from the collections of flowers, important Roman remains and Goethe’s monumental cypress, the garden conserves all the original sixteenth century structures intact: fountains, acoustic grottoes, pergolas, Italian style clipped box, mythological statues and a small complicated maze, one of the oldest in Europe.