Health and Safety

Virtual Series: The Making of the French Garden

Now Available On-Demand

Russell Kelley hosts an 8-video series with the owners and gardeners of some of the most prestigious private and state-owned gardens in France. You can now rewatch, or discover, the behind the scenes of the most magnificent gardens of France.

Check out the series!

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!

This series of eight weekly illustrated lectures via Zoom, live from France, traces the evolution of the French garden from the enclosed gardens of the Middle Ages, through the magnificent Renaissance gardens created by Italian gardeners in the Loire Valley for the Valois kings upon their return from the Italian Wars in the 16th century, through the Classical gardens created by André Le Nôtre for Louis XIV and his court in and around Paris in the 17th century, through the landscape jardins à l’anglaise that swept France from the late 18th through the late 19th century, and ending with the revival of the formal jardins à la française at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. After an introductory lecture to give an overview of the development of the French garden and their designers over the past 500 years, the owners and historians of six of France’s most prestigious state- and privately-owned gardens open to the public will tell the stories of how their gardens were designed – and often redesigned more than once over the centuries – evoking the key designers and historical figures and events associated with their gardens. The series concludes with an overview of the major parks and gardens of Paris.

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.

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 Foundation, WICE, and The Garden Conservancy.