Thursday, March 10, 2016

Marie-Antoinette: A Passion for Flowers

From Geri Walton:
Marie Antoinette loved flowers so much that when her husband became king and gave her Petit Trianon, he did so saying, “You love flowers…well, I have a bouquet for you—the Little Trianon.” Among some of Marie Antoinette’s favorites flowers were irises, hyacinths, tulips, lilacs, lilies, poppies, and violets, and the gardens of Petit Trianon impregnated the air with their scents. In addition, the Queen also loved roses, and, in 1784, she ordered more than two thousand dog roses to be planted in the gardens of Trianon.

But the Queen and her Petit Trianon guests did not just enjoy flowers outdoors: “One of her ladies had special responsibility for seeing that everywhere in her apartments huge Chinese pots and small vases of crystal, Sèvres or Venetian glass were filled with flowers.” You could also see the profusion of flowers that grew outdoors from inside as the facade of Petit Trianon looked over a French garden of geometric shaped flower beds, “and the flowers themselves [were] planted in straight lines.” Inside the little place there were also “ornaments upon the panelling—crossed quivers surmounted by wreaths of roses and garlands of flowers—executed by order of Marie Antoinette.” (Read more.)

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