This year for the Heritage Days we decided to stay a little closer to home. Yesterday was bright and sunny with just a nip of autumn in the air so we took a leisurely walk up to the castle. Instead of going through those bright gaudy golden gates, we walked under the shadow of the St. Louis Cathedral until we reached a small, easy to miss, stone gate and entered the Potager du Roi (the King's Kitchen Garden).
The difference between the Kitchen Gardens and the more formal gardens at the Versailles Castle is enormous. The latter is what I like to call "shock and awe" gardening. It is surely one of the most impressive examples of man beating nature into submission in the name of Civilization. According to my father he was quite startled one visit to see huge pruning machines using laser beams to trim the hedges to be perfectly and unnaturally straight. Ah, the wonders of technology.
The formal gardens are gardens to be admired; the kitchen garden is a garden to love. Here are a few more photos from our Sunday morning visit:
Getting to the King's Kitchen Garden is quite simple. Just take the RER C line from Paris, stay on the train until the end of the line, exit the Versailles-Rive Gauche station and take a left (right will take you the castle). Check their website here for their hours and special events and here for a presentation of the people (past and present gardeners) who make all this possible.
Le Potager du roi
10, rue du Maréchal Joffre 78000 Versailles, France
Tel +33 1 39 24 62 62