April 08, 2013

"G" is for Garden

This is Day 7 for the
Blogging from A to Z Challenge
for 2013.

The topic for today is gardensIn my part of the world early spring can look a lot more like winter – snow fell on Easter morning. But the days are getting longer and gardeners' thoughts are turning to long hours spent outdoors.

I love flowers and seek them out wherever I travel. Here's a photo tour of five memorable gardens from my recent trips to Europe.

#5 - Sunken Garden, Kensington Palace (London)

Kensington Palace, London

We encountered cool, rainy weather during our May visit to London so the bright spring flowers in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace were a welcome sight. The tulips and wallflowers were in full bloom.

Sunken Garden, Kensington Palace

#4 - Luxembourg Gardens (Paris)

Luxembourg Palace, Paris

Located on the city's Left Bank, the second largest park in Paris once formed the grounds of a palace owned by Marie de Medicis. It's now home to the French Senate and a favorite getaway for Parisians and tourists alike, with boules and tennis courts, pony rides, a carousel and a puppet theatre. But the flowers were the big attraction for me.

Luxembourg Gardens, Paris

#3 - Villa Comunale (Sorrento)

Villa Comunale, Sorrento

This small public park perched on a Sorrento cliff top was chosen not only for the colourful blooms, but also for the magnificent views of Mount Vesuvius across the Bay of Naples.

View of Mount Vesuvius from Villa Comunale

#2 - St. Paul de Mausole Monastery (St. Remy-de-Provence)

St. Paul de Mausole Monastery, St. Remy-de-Provence

St. Paul de Mausole is a psychiatric facility best known for its most famous patient, Vincent Van Gogh. Vincent spent a prolific year of painting here following his notorious ear-cutting incident. While the gardens are not extensive, St. Paul ranks second on my list because of the numerous reproductions of his work scattered throughout the property, and for the lovely bed of lavender.

Lavender at St. Paul de Mausole Monastery

#1 - Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild (Cap Ferrat)

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, Cap Ferrat

This belle époque villa on the French Riviera, once owned by the Baroness Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, got my top vote for the sheer wow factor: nine different theme gardens in a stunning setting atop a peninsula that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea.

View of Villefranche Harbour from Villa Ephrussi

Roses in bloom at Villa Ephrussi

But floral beauty is found not only in the grand gardens of Europe. Some of my favourite flowers were discovered in unexpected places.

Florist's display on the Left Bank of Paris, France

Carousel in Beaune, France

Street in Tournus, France

Sunflowers on the streets of Monaco's Old Town

Window boxes in Eze-le-Village, France

Roses on the Isle of Capri, Italy

I believe flowers have a unique ability to lift one's spirits; that's why we send them to friends and family who are ill or in mourning. Their beauty makes our world a better place.

And if you love gardening, books and prizes, check out the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop taking place from April 10th to the 19th. The hop will take readers to the blogs of more than 50 different authors, each one offering a giveaway, gardening tip and/or recipe. The blog hop sounds like a lot of fun and it's a great way to discover new authors.


  1. Great post today for the letter G. You could have even done it for the letter F for flowers. I love the beautiful picture of the Mount Vesuvius across the Bay of Naples. A beautiful blue.

  2. Okay. You have to stop! My travel bug is in overdrive. LOVE your photos and your blog stop is now my go to escape route. And I don't even need a passport!

  3. Thank you! I'm seriously afflicted with that bug myself, and I love to share the experience.

  4. Beautiful! you can almost smell the flowers through all the photos!

    1. Thanks -I'm glad you enjoyed them.


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