In & out of Paris

In & Out of Paris: Gardens of Secret Delights

In & Out of ParisIn & Out of Paris: Gardens of Secret Delights by Zahid Sardar, photographs by Marion Brenner.

When French queen Catherine de Medici created the Tuileries Palace and Garden outside Paris’s medieval walls, she began the unprecedented expansion and greening of one of the world’s great cities. Now Paris’s extraordinary public parks are rivaled only by secret courtyard gardens behind inscrutable nineteenth-century facades and miniature orchards of delight on hidden roof terraces.

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In the early 1990s, Pierre Bergé (Yves Saint Laurent’s longtime partner) enlisted Louis Benech and Pascal Cribier to design a garden in the charming east-facing triangular outdoor space tucked behind his home on rue Bonaparte in Paris. The striped awning protects a gravel dining terrace dining, which is lined with a collection of terra-cotta pots filled with bulbs and perennials.

Among the more than 40 great and small projects within In & Out of Paris are fresh garden concepts in the city’s environs such as Meudon, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Versailles, Courances, and Mery-sur-Oise, which are otherwise all bastions of classic Andre Le Notre-style French gardens.

In & Out of Paris
For a top-floor apartment in the 16th arrondissement, landscape gardener Camille Muller clad an existing steel staircase leading from a terrace to the rooftop garden in patinaed zinc panels, complementing multihued plantings that rise up the side of the building.

Also discover the Paris gardens of celebrated artist Jean-Michel Othoniel and art aficionado Pierre Berge, fashion designer Kenzo Takada’s authentic Japanese retreat in the Bastille, Australian couturier Martin Grant’s very tiny terrace in the Marais, visionary Mexican painter MariCarmen Hernandez’s Montmartre rooftop, American architect Michael Herrman’s perfect homage to Le Corbusier’s Champs-Elysees garden for bon vivant Charles de Beistegui, and the mur vegetals inside botanist Patrick Blanc’s living room. In & Out of Paris showcases top modern masters Louis Benech, Gilles Clement, Pascal Cribier, Christian Fournet, Camille Muller, Hugues Peuvergne, and Pierre-Alexandre Risser, who represent a new era of experiments, color, Zahid Sardar / Photographs by Marion Brenner and asymmetry in the Paris garden.

In & Out of Paris
The moated gardens of Château de Courances, a 17th-century estate near the Fontainebleau forest south of Paris, offer examples of hundreds of years of French garden styles. Here, an exquisitely trained hedge acts as a gateway to the Anglo-Japanese garden designed by Berthe de Ganay and Kitty Lloyd Jones in the 1920s.

Zahid Sardar is a San Francisco-based editor, writer and curator specializing in architecture, interiors, gardens and design. His work has appeared in the magazines Dwell, Interiors, Interior Design, House & Garden, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Form and Landscape Architecture, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He has lectured widely in the United States, taught design history at the California College of the Arts and has written several other design books, including West Coast Modern and New Garden Design..

Marion Brenner’s photographs have appeared in numerous

In & Out of paris
A bathtub enclosed in glass is the focal point of a 300-square-foot garden designed by Hugues Peuvergne on the roof of six-story building near Place de Mexico. Red lava rocks were arranged to resemble a dry riverbed, and sparse plantings, including a slow-growing cypress tree, were placed to evoke an arid climate.

magazines, including Landscape Architecture, Gardens Illustrated, Martha Stewart Living and Garden Design, and can be found in the photography collections of UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Berkeley Art Museum. Books featuring her work include Andrea Cochran: Landscapes, Olin: Placemaking and Living Land, as well as New Garden Design. She lives and gardens in Berkeley, California.

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