Petit Trianon, Versailles #MyGloriousGardens

Petit Trianon was built between 1762 and 1768 by Louis XV for his mistress, Madame de Pompadour. It was called Petit Trianon to distinguish it from Grand Trianon which is a marble palace built by the king before Louis XV for his mistress! Petit Trianon was gifted to Marie Antoinette by Louis XVI and she made it her home, transforming the gardens in the process. She is the most notorious and tragic occupant of this Palace and it is now set up as it once was when she lived there. We visited on a particular rainy weekend in early July but we all agreed that this was our favourite part of our weekend in Versailles.

Marie Antoinette and her children, Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte (she survived the revolution) and Louis-Joseph-Xavier-François (he died aged 7 from Tuberculosis)

Marie Antoinette married Louis at the age of 14 and coming to Versailles, even as a princess must have been a shock. The French had many customs and rituals that were very strict and different from that she had known. The protocols of the french court were such that she thought of Petit Trianon as her place to escape and be herself. I can see why she fell in love with this place! It is such a simple yet elegant palace in such contrast to the grandiose Château! Apparently no one was allowed to enter unless they had a personal invitation from the queen, not even the king. Here she could escape the formality and prying eyes of the court so she set about creating her ideal palace and gardens. Unfortunately, in making this palace private she created court gossip and it became known as a place for debauched royal behaviour. However, I feel she did not help herself as she continued to spend and spend her own, her husband’s and the country’s money to create the most extravagant and crazy gardens which, of course, we can now all enjoy.



Meandering rivers looking back towards the Palace.

Marie Antoinette is known as a leader and creator of fashion and in the garden, she was very taken with the latest landscaping trends. Influenced by the notion that unspoiled nature was healthy and invigorating, she set about creating a very English garden without the usual formality found at the gardens of Versailles using the designer, Richard Mique. These English gardens were to be created alongside the more formal gardens that immediately surrounded the palace. They were created with rivers carved into meandering shapes, grottos created with large stones and artificial lakes made to look as if they had always been there. Landscape ornaments such as temples, ruins and English buildings were built to blend into their surroundings.

The Temple of love
The Temple of Love was built on a small island and is a beautifully carved and ornate temple.

Marie Antoinette removed the previous King’s Hothouses which contained many rare plant species and had them taken to Versailles. A noted gardener, The Duke of Croy, wrote, ” Instead of the great hothouses, some quite high mountains, a large rock and a river. Never has a couple of acres changed to such an extent nor cost as dearly.”

View from the top of “Escargot” mountain towards the Rock and the Belvedere.

The works at Petit Trianon were excessively high and exorbitant. Because she could not afford the amounts from her own money, she often had to ask Louis to cover the costs. Sometimes, he had to pay for these changes from the State budget. on 22nd August, 1775, £100,000 were entered on the Treasury books as, “for the Queen’s gardens.” This shocked people and later contributed to her downfall at her trial during the revolution.

The Hamlet and the Farm

Not content with her spending and changes, works started in 1783 on Marie Antoinette’s latest project, a life-sized theatre called The Hamlet. Richard Mique created a Normandy village made up of 12 houses all made to look like they had been there for hundreds of years. Farm life was fashionable and here the Queen could “play” at being a milk maid or a shepherd (with washed sheep or cows, of course). The Queen’s house had 2 houses; the Queen’s cottage and the Billiard House built for the pursuit of pleasure such as music, gaming, dancing, theatre and conversation. Here she would come with her closest friends. There was even a dairy shop with a marble floor, where fresh cream and cheese were made for the Queen and her friends.

The Marlborough Tower overlooks the lake that was lined with clay in 1784
The Water Mill
Marlborough Tower
The Queen’s Boudoir
All the little vegetable gardens
Lovely little, romantic cottages
Roses around the doors


Traditional cottage gardens
The Farm with animals
The Farm with goats, chickens, pigs, sheep, cows and rabbits

Marie Antoinette created gardens as close as her imagination could bring her to the simple, country life that she craved. Of course, what she didn’t realise was that this was not real life and all the smells and poo were removed so that she could play the part but not be surrounded by reality! She loved nothing better than walking in her gardens with her children (she was devoted mother) wearing a simple white, muslin dress away from the rigid world of The French Court. I felt sorry for her as her ending was not pleasant but I also felt that she a very indulged and naive woman. However, we are left with her creation and vision in the form of these beautiful gardens.

I will leave you with some photos of the French Gardens (created by Louis XV between 1749 and 1753) that lead to Grand Trianon which are equally as glorious but are very different. It’s as if the gardens reflect the formality of the court the closer you get away from Petit Trianon.

Planting in pots
View towards the French Pavilion
Formal and symmetrical gardens with pleached lime trees
Box hedging
Formal Planting with pleached trees
The Cool Pavilion
Pools and fountains
Heading towards Grand Trianon




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The Palace Gardens of Versailles. #MyGloriousGardens

My sister, daughter and I took my mother to Versailles for her 70th birthday as a surprise. I won’t be blogging about that but I would love to share with you a post about the gardens and grounds. The Palace itself is huge and does not disappoint! It is a true palace with gold and marble, restored to it’s former glory since the French revolution. It is not until you see the grounds and gardens however, that you realise quite how much opulence and decadence there was from a time when France was THE superpower in the world at that time. Versailles is valued at over £50 Billion now so try to imagine the scale and size! A Russian Oligarch’s dream! It is over 500 hectares in size and is beautifully manicured and formal in design.

The Palace of Versailles from the front -this is what you see first. Well, apart from the cues of people!
This is the view down towards The Grand canal!
versailles 1
It was a very wet weekend but it was still a stunning place!

It was such a rainy weekend so the photos are not quite as clear as I would have liked.

The beginning of the formal gardens
More formal gardens planted with annuals such as cosmos between formal Box Hedging.
The planting near the palace.

Louis XIV or the sun king as he was known, commissioned the designer, André Le Nôtre, to redesign the grounds of the palace as originally, it was a mere hunting lodge. Under the title Controller General of the King’s Garden, Le Nôtre began revamping the grounds of Versailles in 1662. His design formed a crucifix shape to which he added two parterres closest to the palace. These parterres were designed to reflect light into the windows of the Hall of Mirrors and have pools of water with statues of nymphs, men and children.

The parterres

There is a large canal which is over a mile long. This is called the Grand Canal after the one in Venice and Louis sailed gondolas on it. They also skated on it when it froze in Winter.

The view towards the Grand Canal and yes, we hired a golf buggy! What else to do in the rain?


There are 11 main, famous fountains. They have statues from Roman and Greek mythology surrounding them and various sprays and jets. Apparently, they were more spectacular during Louis XIV’s reign but couldn’t all be cascading at the same time so they would work when the royal family were passing! The largest is called The Apollo fountain.

One of the smaller fountains
The Mother of Apollo surrounds the fountain nearest the palace.
The Apollo fountain depicting the god on a chariot pulled by four horses and three men blowing horns.
One of the pools
The ballroom fountains.

As part of our ticket, you can stop and listen to the music that accompanies the fountain show.

The king enjoyed his morning breakfast and an Orangery was constructed to house orange, lemon and pomegranate trees. Many of the trees today are over 200 years old! The orangery was my favourite part; it is over 7.5 acres and is mind blowing! As we were visiting during the summer (!) the trees were outside.

The view of the orangery gardens.
All the trees were outside the Orangery for the summer months (together with a visitors stand for the evening fountain and firework show)
The huge Orangery is tucked under the balustrade.
Now, that is what you call a door! The door to the Orangery.
Photo trickery fun in the rain!

I hope you have enjoyed this post!

I have more…..

We also visited Le Trianon and Le Petit Trianon….


#MyGloriousGardens Linky Round up July 2017.

#MyGloriousGarden Linky
Well, here we are and it’s the July #MyGloriousGardens Link party! I know that some of you had to wait to link up but it was worth it as we had 14 linkers this time! This is brilliant and I thank each of you for supporting the linky. I hope by linking that you had or found some new blogs to read and admire. I love finding another blog that is inspirational or a post that is a great read over a cup of coffee.

I had to round up earlier than I would usually as I realised that the weekend was crazy busy with my son’s hockey so I hope you all don’t mind!

As you know, this Linky is to celebrate all garden photos and posts. Anything garden related can be posted. This week it was so lovely to see some garden posts from parents as well as our lovely posters that love to visit or have their own Glorious Gardens! I have decide to keep the Link party for a monthly event so that we can all enjoy our gardens! Feel free to use the #MyGloriousGardens on your social media posts though as then I can find you and comment. It would be lovely to grow this community on Instagram.

As a thank you, I don’t tend to have a favourite but comment on each post. In that way, I hope you all get a few more readers to your blogs. Just a little polite reminder to please comment on as many other linkers posts so that we build our community and spread the blog love.

Sprout and Sprig

Lacey posted 2 posts this time. One about her hens with crazy names (Wilhem von Cocklespurs!!) and another about using garlic scapes in her cooking. I must admit that I have never heard of Garlic Scapes in the UK…have I missed something here? yes, it looks like I have, as the sauce for pesto looked delicious! Thank you Lacey! Lacey is doing up an old farmhouse like me so I think we have much in common.

Gardening Ltd

Hello to Ann who posted about Kalanchoe plants. She is from South California and so these beautiful plants are to be found in her garden. It’s much too cold here in the UK but you may have seen them sold as house plants. They are very pretty little plants and so delicate! Thank you Ann. I hope you can post again next month.


I have to confess that I am an avid reader of Annette’s blog and personally asked her to join this time! Thanks so much Annette! I love this post about a Bloombox subscription service that looks very tempting indeed! Do take a look if you haven’t already! Plants….delivered to your home! What more could you ask for!

Watching the Daisies

You know that by reading some blogs you know the person? Well that’s what it is like when I read Brigid’s blog. Her post about Bloom, Ireland’s Chelsea equivalent was soooo lovely with stunning photos! Do pop over to her page for a better look. She also has a book…..

All things Spliced

Nicola is a new linker too…hello and welcome! I love that she linked a post about introducing her toddler to gardening. Start them young she says! I couldn’t agree more! It helps that her baby boy is so cute with his watering can! I remember my daughter at this age doing the same thing. It’s lovely to see young children interested in their garden and growing plants.


Hello again Shannon! Lovely to have you. Shannon has been posting about her beautiful garden which has changed so much since we last linked up! Shannon is an inspiring gardener as it’s not always easy for her but her dedication is for all to see. Thank you Shannon for linking again. I hope to see a new post next month too.

Stone Cottage Adventures

Welcome to Marci! Another lovely blogger from the US. Again, Marci lives in an old house and has a fabulous blog about crafting, gardening and her daily adventures. Her post is about creating a fabulously cute fairy garden; something I will be doing in the old house garden in the future! I have made something similar with a class at school once so there is no excuse for me now! We hope to see you again next month, Marci.

30 Days of Wild Parenting

Lovely to see Joshua again this month! Joshua is a teacher like me and also a Daddy. His blog is another I read often because he loves nature and wildlife as well as being an Early Years teacher, like me! This post was about different books he enjoyed. I liked the mindfulness one in particular.


Cady has been “holding the fort” for me whilst I write reports! She has been busy blogging using the #MyGloriousGardens so has posted 2 posts this time. I have to admit that my favourite was definitely the one from The garden of Ellen Terry and I can see why Cady loves the garden so much here! It is a perfect cottage garden and so pretty! Thank you Cady and I hope to see more stunning garden posts through Instagram.

Candelo Blooms

Jane and I chat over the internet about her roses! Her garden is absolutely stunning so I was so pleased she joined us this time! I think I have nagged her enough! This post is about books that she has found inspiring. Thank you Jane for these great choices. I hope you can link one of your roses posts next month.



#MyGloriousGardens week 4. Let’s Link up!

Well, here we are and it’s week 4 of #MyGloriousGardens Link party! Thank you to all of you that have waited to Link up! It’s been a busy few weeks here in the old house.

As many of you know, I love my Gardens and Gardening! Summer is here and it’s time to celebrate all things garden related!

This Linky is to celebrate all garden photos and posts. Anything garden related can be posted. It may be a post about a great day out with your family, a garden you have visited, your garden, a garden product or an outdoor place you have visited. I don’t mind anything as long as it is celebrating a Glorious Garden! No posts about other Link parties please. I have posted 2 this week just because!

If you have never been to a Link party before it’s easy!

Here is a great guide to what a Link party is……what is a linky?

Just link up your post by clicking on the blue Inlink up button. Copy and paste the url of your post/s or photo in the first box. Then click on the second box and it will fill in automatically. Add your contacts or a – and you have done it! 

There are minimal rules (and I’m not really worried if you don’t all stick to them!).
1. Tweet me @oldhouseinthes1 for a Retweet.
2. Follow me on Twitter, on the blog and on Instagram.
3. Comment on my post and one other of your choice.
4. Spread the Blog love by reading and commenting on other people’s posts and I will read all posts and comment. I will share all on my social media sites.
5. Have fun!


If you would like to add my button to your posts, the code is on my widget (side area) underneath my social media sites. You just copy and paste this code into the HTML part when writing a post.



My Glorious Gardens series: Tyntesfield on Fathers Day 2017.

Our son was training in Bristol this Sunday so we decided to make the most of the lovely weather and take a trip to Tyntesfield, near Bristol. We went to look at the gardens but you can’t go somewhere like Tyntesfield without visiting the house too!

Tyntesfield was bought by the National Trust in 2001 with help from the local community. It was extended as a family home in the 1860’s by William Gibbs who, at that time, was the richest commoner in England, having made his fortune from the sale of guano which was used as fertiliser. When it was sold, the owner of the time, Richard Gibbs was living in just 3 rooms as it needed so much work doing to it. The work that the National Trust has done is clear yet impressive. The house is a Victorian Gothic Revival House of wonder with over 50,000 pieces of interest. I was chatting to one of the guides who said that nothing was ever thrown away meaning that this unique property and it’s contents have been preserved in their entirety. It certainly feels as if you are stepping into a bygone age at Tyntesfield and it an absolute joy!

Tyntesfield was used by Clifton College in the second World War-can you imagine going to school here?

As you walk towards the house, you can take the route through the Rose Garden. I was really interested to see this as we want to try to create something similar in the old house garden. It was stunning, built on a slight hill with lovely views.

The rose archway leading to a raised terrace.
Me walking through the rose arch.
The view from the terrace was amazing!
I loved the Box hedging; unfortunately some had blight so was cordoned off.
Gothic statues at the bottom of the steps leading to the Rose Garden
In each corner were small gazebos and beautiful Acers

We arrived quite early so missed the crowds but there were many people enjoying the classic car collection for Fathers Day.

The main entrance with the classic car collection
More classic cars!
The gothic turrets and features were beautiful
The main front entrance

We were lucky to get to see the house. They restrict the number of visitors so you do need to get here early. The house opened at 11am and we went in before the crowds!

Inside is truly a masterpiece of Gothic craftsmanship. The interiors are not to my taste but you can not fail to be impressed by all the detail. The ceilings are ornately carved and the fire places are large stone affairs. From the Billiard room, a masculine space designed for leisurely pursuits to the grand dining room with it’s table laid for dinner, it’s a beautiful place to wander.

The ornate staircase
Wow! What a fireplace!
The Sitting Room

The grand Dining Room with original wallpaper
I was amazed to see so many pieces still in the house such as this picnic set and travelling luggage in the kitchen.
The detail of the roof in the Billiard Room.
The family also added a grand and frankly, enormous Chapel. It was completed in the 1870’s just after William Gibbs died. It is larger than most village churches and has all the original chairs and altar furniture.

The chapel at Tyntesfield

The Chapel on the outside
The Altar
We then wandered to the Kitchen garden which was huge! The garden produced enough for the entire estate and the family even had produce brought to them weekly when they were at their London residence.

The walled kitchen garden
The walled kitchen garden at Tyntesfield
The herbaceous borders near the extensive greenhouses
The orangery.
Inside the orangery

By this time we were boiling hot and had to get back to collect our son. We stayed about 3 hours but this is definitely a place that you could stay all day. I feel I need to go back to see it all again as I expect we missed quite a lot! Being National Trust members means we can easily go back whenever we wish.

Tyntesfield has got to be the most impressive house I have visited recently. It deserves more attention and I’m so glad the National Trust have done such a great job in preserving it.

I will leave you with some more beautiful photographs of a fabulous few hours!

The Rose Garden
Fab gothic bench!

View from the Master Bedroom
Formal planting at the front of the house

Part of #MyGloriousGardens series.


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My Glorious Gardens series: Middlewick House Open Gardens in June.

At the weekend we were able to take a visit to Middlewick House in Corsham, Wiltshire. This beautiful house is owned by Pink Floyd’s drummer, Nick Mason and his family. It was once owned by Camilla, Duchess of Cambridge.

Nick opens his house for charity for a weekend in June and as we have never been, we thought we go and take a look! Hubbie came too but we left the children and Dottie at home this time.

As we arrived, we could not believe that there were so many people! We just couldn’t work it out until we walked up the drive to see this…

Middlewick House, Corsham
Nick had also decided to let the public see his car collection! What a very clever man! Beautiful gardens, a classic car collection, plants to buy, a BBQ and drinks.  There were people with picnics, dogs and young children were running around and of course, everyone were very interested in the cars!

Hubbie would like this Ferrari please!

I know nothing about cars but I did like this one!
Notice the guy taking a photo of the wheels!! 🙂
This Ferrari is a hybrid apparently…..
Hubbie also liked this one…he was in the air force once….maybe that’s why?
So tiny!
And now for the gardens….

There was a fabulous kitchen garden within a walled area with a cute gate.
It had a traditional rose archway in the centre with paths around large beds.
View back towards the house with lovely herbaceous borders.
“Stand there so I can take a photo!”
The central pond with fountain (and fish!)
The central rose arch with roses in full bloom.
The vegetables
Apart from the kitchen garden you could also roam around the rest of the garden.

There was a cute little traditional caravan (yes, that’s me in wedge sandals….and a coat!)
The back of the house. In the conservatory they have an indoor pool and Nick’s drum kit was on display.
Half way across this lawn was a Ha-Ha wall linking the view to the fields beyond (with horses)
Beautiful pond with bridge and Swan sculpture
It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon raising money for The Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Classic cars and gardens.
The cute gate keepers cottage called Mermaids Cottage.
I will leave you with some lovely flowers…

#MyGloriousGardens Round up Post



Thank you to the 9 link ups we had this week! That’s amazing! Thank you to all who linked up. I really enjoyed reading all of your posts. I do hope to see you again. x


Thank you Cady for linking for the second time. This post was about The Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex once owned by Virginia Woolf’s sister, Vanessa Stephen Bell. I love a bit of history don’t you? So combining this with a beautiful garden was a perfect read for me! Thank you Cady.


This post from Deborah’s site was very useful at this time of year! Especially the use of different plants to stop those pesky mosquito bites! I love all the different plants she suggested, so thank you”


This post really warmed me as Road talks about when she was little girl and how she was fascinated by small things. Being inspired as a child stays with us doesn’t it? I used to sit for hours watching my pond as a child so may be that’s why I love nature so much!  Thank you Roda for the beautiful photos too! Roda also linked up a post about a visit to the Chicago Botanic gardens. More stunning photos and I loved the paper bark maple as I’d never seen one before.


I just love this idea followed by fellow teacher, Joshua with his family including his adorable little girl, Alice (who is too cute!). Thank you for linking and I will look forward to reading your blog in the future.

rivendell blog

Thank you to John for linking for a second time with a post about his stunning roses, some of which I haven’t come across before. The “Rhapsody in Blue” rose looks so pretty so hopefully he will share more pictures of this one in the future. My roses never seem to do well so I will be looking to him for more advice!


This was one of the first blogs I found. I love all the recipes you see! Lynda has linked a fabulous post about all things Elderflower! Yum! I even tried the Gooseberry and Elderflower jam and its delicious. Thank you for linking up.


Again, Shannon linked up last week as we saw how her garden was her daily motivation in her battle with MS. This was the second garden post (and I know that there is a 3rd!) and although Shannon lives in a very hot place, her garden is thriving. So glad to see how it’s going, Shannon. Thank you for posting again.


The lovely Brigid! Thank you for linking for the second time. Brigid linked a post about her own garden which although fairly new is looking as if it has always been there! I love seeing what people have in their garden through their photographs don’t you? Maybe I’m just nosy!

After a little thought over the weekend. I have decided to postpone the linky and have it once a month instead. I am writing reports at the moment and its all a bit bonkers at school. I hope everyone understands. x
#MyGloriousGardens will be back.