Part of the formal garden of the Château de Fontainebleau, with the Grand Canal barely visible in the distance, Ile-de-France, France, between 1914 and 1925. This is a glass lantern slide by Williams, Brown & Earle, Inc., via Archives of American Gardens, Garden Club of America Collection, Smithsonian Institution (used here by permission).

The Archives holds over 60,000 photos and records documenting 6,300 historic and contemporary American gardens.  At its core are almost 3,000 hand-colored glass lantern and 35mm slides donated by the Garden Club of America, which is the source of this image.

(Click on the picture to enlarge it.)

When the prince has no porch

. . . a rather awkward arrangement.

“Society at dining table. Frederick I of Baden sits in the middle,” location unknown, ca. 1890 – 1907, by Queen Victoria of Sweden, via Tekniska museet (Sweden) on flickr, under CC license.

Victoria (or Viktoria) of Baden — Queen of Sweden after 1907 — was the daughter of Frederick I. She married Crown Prince Gustaf in 1881, and they had three children, but it was not a happy marriage. From 1882, she spent almost every winter in Egypt and Italy, mostly in Capri. She was a good amateur photographer, as well as a painter and sculptor.

The palace garden, Venice

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A variation on the same theme. . . in Venice, at Christmas, our hotel also had an unusually large garden.

The Boscolo Venezia was built in the 16th century as a family palace.  It  is located in the Sestiere Cannaregio, between the Fondamenta de la Madonna dell’Orto and the lagoon, facing the island of Murano.

It claims to be the only hotel in Venice with a garden over 2,000 square meters.

Long and fairly narrow with winding paths of light grey pea gravel, the garden is heavily planted in trees and large, dark-leaved shrubs (and variegated Aucuba japonica). Berms down the sides and crossing the middle increase the sense of privacy, restrict a sense of the whole, and make the garden seem larger.

Click on any thumbnail in the gallery below to scroll through larger images.

Aftermath, Stuttgart

So much of any year is flammable. . .*

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What we have learned since about 4 p.m. yesterday is that Stuttgarters really like their (self-administered) pyrotechnic devices on New Year’s Eve.

Sitting at home, the noise was terrific, particularly from about 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Venturing downtown this foggy afternoon, I was a little surprised to see everything — or anything — still standing.

The ground was littered with fireworks debris and broken Sekt bottles, but only this Konigstrasse shelter showed any real damage.

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We went inside the Alte Schloss (Old Palace) courtyard for the first time during the Christmas season, and I admired the trees on the columns and star lights.

Have a happy 2016!

*From “Burning the Old Year” by Naomi Shihab Nye.