Book of the week / Gardens of Paris

“In & Out of Paris: Gardens of Secret Delights,” a new book written by Zahid Sardar and photographed by Marion Brenner.Paris has many famous, beautiful public gardens and even more exquisite private ones tucked behind the walls of its private houses and on the terraces and rooftops of its apartment buildings. In smart, anecdote-filled prose, Sardar offers a primer on the evolution of landscape design in France’s capital city, juxtaposing descriptions of celebrated and lesser-known public and estate gardens in and around Paris with portraits of private retreats within the city.

Among the more than 30 great and small projects within In & Out of Paris are Vaux-le-Vicomte, Versailles, and Courances—all classic André Le Nôtre–style French gardens. Also discover the Paris gardens of celebrated artist Jean-Michel Othoniel and art aficionado Pierre Bergé, architect Kenzō Takada’s Japanese retreat in the Bastille, Australian couturier Martin Grant’s tiny terrace in the Marais, Mexican painter MariCarmen Hernandez’s Montmartre rooftop, and American architect Michael Herrman’s homage to Le Corbusier’s surreal ChampsÉlysées garden for bon vivant Charles de Beistegui.

Modern masters Louis Benech, Gilles Clement, Pascal Cribier, Christian Fournet, Camille Muller, Hugues Peuvergne, and Pierre-Alexandre Risser are also featured, representing a new era of experiments, color, and asymmetry in the Paris garden.

Gibbs Smith 2014