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Charming Mr. Baraton is delightful when describing his daily routines he talks to his trees and has pet names for many of them and as a writer he is a master of what might be termed the inarguable Gallic utterance but for a hands-on perspective and sheer fun, Mr. Baraton can't be beat. -"Wall Street Journal""What an eccentric and charming memoir Baraton has been gardening at Versailles for nearly 40 years. He knows every vista, every "bosquet, " every fountain on its 2,100 acres. Baraton s book is sweet and breezy." -"New York Times" a delightful memoir of more than 40 years of living and working there Baraton s book is the best kind of travel experience: a chat with a local." Chicago Tribune ""Baraton shares the memories of more than 40 years of living and working in the gardens. He is an engaging raconteur who tells his story with humility and a delightful sense of humor. He chooses his words to convey his passion and his personality. To read them is to have him in the room, where he entertains you without your having to reciprocate. In this case, though, that s cause for regret. I think he would be the sort of house guest one hates to see depart...Whether you enjoy reading of history or gardening or simply take pleasure in the memoir of someone who is passionate about his craft and finds gratification therein, I strongly recommend "The Gardener of Versailles: My Life in the World s Grandest Garden." There is an undeniable sweetness to be found in being in sync with nature and in dancing to the rhythm of the seasons. Baraton tells us that, distilled to its essence, what makes a good gardener is joy. I have a feeling he is a very good gardener. He ranks high on a list of people I d like to meet ideally, on his turf."" -Paris Arts Travel " An exquisite storyteller who works in and lives among the gardens, Baraton immediately engages readers Baraton has filled his book not only with interesting historical details and human stories of the royals who walked the grounds but with insightful, contemporary tales of wise coworkers and eccentric visitors. Whether he s discussing romantic tourists or marveling at bygone gardening techniques, Baraton s eloquence and intelligence shine in this English translation by Murray. Practically required reading for garden travelers, gardeners, history fans, and even memoir buffs. Readers will wish more of his books were available in translation. Delightful. "Library Journal," Starred Review [A] fascinating memoir an intimate and visceral look into his complicated relationship with one of Europe s most astonishing public gardens It is a telling glimpse of the challenge, consolation, and occasional horror of overseeing a place of magic. "Publishers Weekly""He is an engaging story-teller who has written many books on Versailles, but this is the only one available in English. Baraton also hosts gardening programs on French radio and television. If you have visited Versailles, this book will remind you of that gorgeous setting. If you have not, it will inspire you to do so with the help of Baraton's suggestions for a perfect tour." -"ChicagoBotanic Garden" Versailles head gardener and TV host Baraton reflects on his three decades tending some of the most beautiful gardens in the world: Simply but thoroughly, the author narrates the history of Versailles, from the days of Henry IV sneaking off to these woods to hunt to the days of the revolution. The author philosophizes about the ability of gardens to provide space for deep reflection, and he writes poetically about the beautiful power of the grounds he tends. He also provides some practical advice-e.g., the best places for a lovers' tryst. In addition to paying tribute to the work of these innovators, Baraton also looks at the various films that have been filmed on the grounds, storms that have battered them, and the effects of eac
Alain Baraton is the best-selling author of many books on gardening and the host of weekly gardening programs on French radio and television.