The Making of the French Garden

The Making of the French Garden

The Parks and Gardens of Paris

Thursday, February 24 at 12:00 p.m.
$10 Member • $20 Non-member • Free for students*
On Zoom • In English • 12:00 p.m. Chicago(CST) /1:00 p.m. Miami (EST)/19h Paris

Register now

12:00 p.m. (Chicago) • 1:00 p.m. (Miami)  7:00 p.m. (Paris) 

* Entrée Libre initiative: Free for students high school, college, university. Please register with your .edu address

Following the success of our Grands Châteaux Series last winter, Russell Kelley spent the summer visiting the Grands Jardins de France! Our curator extraordinaire returns with a live online series exploring the evolution of the French garden through history, from the Renaissance to the Vertical Garden.  Get ready to travel through time and go green!


The Parks and Gardens of Paris

According to the Ville de Paris website, the city of Paris has 490 parks, gardens and municipal “squares” under the responsibility of the Direction des Parcs, Jardins et Espaces Verts (DPJEV), which Haussmann established in 1855. The first gardens created next to the Tuileries Palace of Catherine de Médicis and the Luxembourg Palace of Marie de Médicis, were in the Italian style, designed to be seen from the palace and to reflect the power of its occupant. The structural elements of the garden evolved into the Classical garden intended to show man’s domination of nature. These “regular” gardens reached their apogee under André Le Nôtre and his gardens at Vaux-le-Vicomte, Versailles and Chantilly, but also at the Tuileries. The parks and gardens created in Paris during the 19th century were inspired by the “irregular” English landscape gardens of “Capability” Brown and his successors – jardins à l’anglaise – which sought to return to nature. After a lull, Paris has enjoyed an explosion of new gardens in the past 40 years, most of them in the outer arrondissements. The current city government is determined to continue the “greening” of Paris.

Speaker: Russell Kelley is the curator and moderator of this lecture series and was the curator of last winter’s series on the “Grands Châteaux of the Loire and Île de France.” He is the author of The Making of Paris: The Story of How Paris Evolved from a Fishing Village into the World’s Most Beautiful City (Lyons Press, 2021), and has lived in Paris for 30 years.


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This program is presented in partnership with the Alliance Française Miami Metro with communication support from the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA, the French Heritage Society, the Historic Gardens FoundationWICE and The Garden Conservancy.

Through our Entrée Libre initiative, free admission to this program is offered to students enrolled in French Studies in universities and French schools in Chicago and the Midwest.