Category Archives: French gardens

The Sunday porch: French Riviera

1 full view, Poincare Residence, Eze, France, ca. 1914, University Caen Basse…The property of M. [Raymond] Poincaré in Èze.  The gardens and the main entrance of the house,” ca. 1914 – ca. 1918, photographer unknown, via the Université de Caen Basse-Normandie Commons on flickr.

Èze is located on the southeastern coast of France, not far from Nice. The Mediterranean was just beyond the railings above.

Detail, Poincare Residence, Eze, France, ca. 1914, University of Caen Basse-Normandie

(To scroll through a number of larger versions of the photo, click on ‘Continue reading’ below and then on any thumbnail in the gallery.)

Raymond Poincaré was President of France from 1913 to 1920.  He had been both Prime Minister and Foreign Minister (simultaneously) during all of 1912.

. . . I  decided this time not to go to Sampigny but to stay somewhere on the Mediterranean. After brief research, I rented, in the Alpes-Maritimes, at the foot of the small town of Saracen Eze-sur-Mer, a quiet villa, hidden in the pine trees. On a long terrace overlooking the sea, one can see the Cap d’Ail, the Cap Roux, the Cape Ferrat, and it has an incomparable view of the sea. By winning this early retirement, I am not unhappy to escape a little to the embrace of my job, but at least I have the impression that the state of Europe, while still unstable, allows me to breathe more freely. Peace seems restored in the Balkans. Our relations with all Powers are normal. Whatever the new influences acting on William II, France was determined not provide any pretext for war. It’s almost a feeling of rest and security I feel, when I’ll salute the French Riviera the spring of 1914.

— Raymond Poincaré, from his memoirs.

You can see an image of the long terrace of the house in April 1914 here.

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Vintage landscape: the watchers

Clay figures, Bibliotheque ToulouseFigurines de pierre (stone) dans un potager,” between 1859 and 1910, by Eugène Trutatvia Bibliothèque de Toulouse Commons on flickr.

You have to look closely, I’m afraid. . . click on the image for a little better view.

The location of the photo was not noted, but the Bibliothèque assigns it to the Germany album. Trutat took a large number of pictures while traveling in the Rhineland-Palatinate region in the early 1920s.

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Life in gardens: Paul et Henri

A repeat from December 2012. . . . I love this bleary little photo.

Paul et Henri

Paul and Henri at Cornusson, Parisot Commune, in the Pyrenees, France, ca. 1870 — like yesterday’s post  by Eugène Trutat, via the Bibliothèque de Toulouse Commons on flickr.

As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of this book,
Another child, far, far away,
And in another garden, play.
But do not think you can at all,
By knocking on the window, call
That child to hear you. He intent
Is all on his play-business bent.
He does not hear; he will not look,
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, the truth to say,
He has grown up and gone away,
And it is but a child of air
That lingers in the garden there.
Robert Louis Stevenson, “To Any Reader”

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Life in gardens: Ax-les-Thermes

1906 garden with steps in France, Bibliotheque ToulouseThe walled garden of Chalet Magazin, Ax-les-Thermes,  France,” July 1906, by Eugène Trutat, via Bibliothèque de Toulouse Commons on flickr.

From over the wall I could hear the laughter of women
in a foreign tongue, in the sun-rinsed air of the city. . . .

. . .  the sound filled up the garden and lifted

like bubbles spilling over the bricks that enclosed them. . .

Mary-Sherman Willis, from “The Laughter of Women

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Life in gardens: flower fair

Grand Kermesse poster, Library of Congress“Country flower fair, May 19 and 20, 1918, at the Bordeaux Town Hall. To benefit the war charities and children’s charities.” Poster art by A. Guindet, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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