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French Garden - Expo Brussels 1910

French Garden at the Exhibition Expo Brussels 1910

The gardens are one of the main attractions of the Brussels World Fair. We have quickly gone through them, but we think it would be useful to highlight the character of each one on the eve of the closing of the Exhibition.

In terms of its importance and appearance, the City of Paris garden is in the lead. It is due, as you know, to the great talent of M. Vacherot.
This mixed garden is, in its main lines, one of the best conceived, the layout is simple and of great elegance of proportions.

The visitor, on leaving one of the galleries, can see the whole of it: first of all, at the back, there are the various ponds which, by their exquisite freshness, give a charming shade of green to the short lawns which surround them. All around, attracting the eye by their bright but not garish colours, are the rosebushes, always in bloom, adorning the small embankments in a pleasant way.

The perfect lawns of the landscape garden are now visible on both sides of the building, with high embankments connecting the garden to the buildings.
In addition, the very marked differences in level of the original terrain have led to the logical creation of multiple terraces and the central pool, which is very harmonious in proportion to the two small, slightly elevated side pools. These terraces, with their amusing and unforeseen layouts, allow the garden to be viewed from a variety of delightful angles and give the whole an elegant distinction.

See also the good proportions of each part: rightly, the modern French garden, the most restful and the most flowery, has the predominance and attracts us first. The eye then wanders happily over the better, more orderly landscape section to the right and left.

This mixed garden arrangement, with the regular garden in the centre, which looks so decorative and calm, and the landscape garden on the sides as a transition to the outside, is certainly the most logical and happy thing that could be created. The exact ratio of lawns and beds - the former predominating - is observed for the great good of the whole.

If we now examine the detail, we are charmed by the multiplicity of happy arrangements which are offered to our sight, by the studied and gracious design of each parterre, recess or terrace, by the unequalled finish of a perfect execution, which excellently completes, while emphasizing it, the beauty of a truly decorative conception.

Here, for example, are some of these interesting perennials, tastefully and lightly arranged near the side basins: Helenium variés with golden yellow flowers, Sidalcea Rosy gem, the elegant Delphinium, Onopordon d'Arabie with its grey foliage and slender size, then Pyrethrum, Thalictrum, King Edward's maximum acanthus, Astilbes, Aconit..., with their skilfully arranged colours, and the best staggered flowering times.

They form, on the plain and tender green lawn, with the framework of the pond with its calm waters and sprinkled with multicoloured Nymphéa, and with the gracefully undulating background of the landscape garden, a most attractive and seductive picture, arranged with infinite taste.

I regret, however, that in some places the excessive abundance of perennials to be displayed has not allowed the architect to renew this charming scene and perhaps distorts, by giving it a certain heaviness, the truly artistic side which emerges from such a presentation.

In the floral decoration, the place of honour is reserved, and rightly so, for the rose. It is offered to us, for the pleasure of the eyes, under all its aspects and in the infinite profusion of its varieties.

© Exposition Universelle de Bruxelles 1910