Why I like gardens at night

June 5, 2011

Yesterday evening, when taking pictures, I understood why I like gardens at night:

My grandparents had their house built after World War II on the outskirts of a small French town. It was very simple, there was not even a bathroom or toilets inside when I was a child in the seventies. The vegetables cooked by my grandmother were coming from the edible garden. We also had cherries, apricots, peaches and plums in the summer, walnuts, apples and pears at fall. When I was staying there, which was very often, I was spending most of my time playing in the wild part of the garden.

In the evenings, before I was going to bed, my grandfather was taking me to the toilets he had built at the back of the garden. During summer, it was dusk and I could see strange shapes moving in the trees, I could smell the strong scent of flowers and look at the stars shining in the sky. During winter, it was really dark and my grandfather was lighting the path with his small flashlight while holding my hand. I was frightened by many strange noises, by branches which were moving with the wind. Sometimes, he was lighting up a tree with the ray of light, bringing suddenly colors to the dark night. I was discovering a very different garden from the one I knew at daytime. It was a world of secrets, darkness, a garden of very bright colors unveiled on a deep black sky without stars, a place of wonders.

I like taking photos of gardens at night. It brings me back to my childhood.

My Rome’s garden at night:

Sheppard Craige’s Bosco della Ragnaia in Tuscany :

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