Friday, September 9, 2011

Ending the week on a dreamy note

This hasn't been my favorite week, although once again I look at people with flooded houses and cars who've lost everything, and I wonder what I am complaining about.  The stump grinder came to finish off the 130 year old white oak.  I now have a pile of fine, fragrant (if you like the strong scent of a just-cut-down-tree) shavings that I hope won't be sitting there this time next year.  They'll be good for mulch, but I can't quite face doing anything about it today, even though it's a magnificent day to be out in the yard.

So, here I am inside looking at a photograph of something I love.  For some odd reason I'm drawn to garden tunnels and arches.  This one is in France, at the historic home and gardens of the Mallet family in Normandy, Le Bois des Moutiers.  I took the photo on a trip to visit Robert and Corinne Mallet in 2006.  In a book I bought in 1983, there is a photograph of this same allee.  And, as it happens, on the front cover of Robert Mallet's new book, Envisioning the Garden: Line, Scale, Distance, Form, Color and Meaning, is, you guessed it, this same scene.  I'm debating if mine taken with my point and shoot is as good (just joking, it's not) as the professional's.

Anyway, I'm giving myself a present for this expensive tree cutting week by ordering Robert's book.  It's available on several of the sites for purchasing books (check it out; you'll recognize the cover shot).  He gave me a book he wrote about restoring his family's garden, and I also have two volumes of his wife's books on hydrangeas.  I'm looking forward to reading Envisioning the Garden.  In future posts, I'll show you more of the Lutyens/Jekyll collaboration at the Mallets' on the coast of Normandy.  For now, I'll imagine myself walking down this beautiful tunnel and under the arches into a beautiful garden (which is actually there), forgetting about the tree bill that's coming.


  1. Martha, that is one of my favorite gardens in Normandy. I did not know Robert had a new book out. I must get it. He is such a wonderful 'gentleman' in the best sense of the word.

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