An assault on the senses: so much to catch the eye.
We wander in a daze, through minarets of clay,
alabaster arches of thousand one more dreams.
We get lost in mazes, guided only by
children’s laughter and gasps of enchantment.
Round-mopped flowerheads beckon us to stroke them.
Birdsong fills the cool shade under the chestnut tree.
Water in every form bustles, trickles, dribbles, laps –
Each fountain a family member,
each square of cement path a pebble-enscribed love-letter.
It shouldn’t work: it’s madness,
disparate elements reclaimed from Morocco, Java, Spain,
brought together with nothing but bare hands and humour.
It started out as child’s play and became a family’s history,
hands in soil for decades, shared sighs, always a surprise,
glimmer of a pool around the corner, where
copper filigree meets bulbous earthen pumpkins.
Day after day they built one more terrace,
seeded another flowerbed,
mosaics of azure tinged with moss, gold shredded with scarlet.
We walked in smarting with petty quarrels.
Thirst quenched, a little silenced,
we leave here hand in hand.
These magnificent gardens that I discovered earlier this year just outside Annecy in France – a source of inspiration and delight. For Gabriella’s brilliant initial hosting prompt about travel writing over at dVerse Poets Pub.
32 thoughts on “Travel Poetry: The Secret Gardens of Vaulx”
Oh, that last bit really says it all, Marina Sofia! This is a lovely tribute to what I’m sure is a beautiful place.
Thank you, Margot, I hope to go there once more before it closes for the winter.
What a lovely garden maze, full of blazing colors ~ I would love to get lost in the madness and enchangement of those blooms ~
And the scents filling the air, the sound of the fountains… oh, it’s really paradise!
What a beautiful destination for travel! I’d love to see all the fountains and terraces. I especially enjoyed the last stanza. Indeed, who can quarrel amidst such loveliness. Really liked your photos also, Marina.
It’s truly a magical place, I felt like in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s ‘The Secret Garden’.
Nothing that feels like ‘The Secret Garden’ can be wrong. I do not know Haute-Savoie as well as Savoie, although I skied near Megève when I was a child, but would certainly love to discover these gardens.Thank you for your encouraging words.
“disparate elements reclaimed from Morocco, Java, Spain,”
these type of gardens are the most fascinating.
Marina Sofia, besides describing the gardens so beautifully and lovingly, you demonstrated the healing power of nature and nature’s beauty, especially when conceived and executed with love.
Yes, the story and the love behind the garden was the best part of it. I am a dreadful gardener but I can always appreciate other people’s work.
Now this is travel poetry…full of exciting images and stories and lovely gardens that hearken back to early history!
I think that a true garden should be about joy, about amazement and discovery.. Sometimes on business trips I have found the botany garden and brought a book .. Best part of any trip.
What a good idea – I usually meander through streets and discover strange alleyways or watch people go by from cafes- but whenever I discovered a park or garden (the Vigeland Park in Oslo, for instance), it brought so much peace and perspective.
Arboretums are tranquil, moist, humid, sensual–gardens of every variety do offer a solace–but it is the call of nature, a quiet glen in a meadow of wildflowers next to a babbling brook beneath azure skies serenaded by a hawk’s scree for me. Loved your poem though.
I’m a wild mountain pastures kind of girl myself – but really appreciate the time, patience, effort, love and thought that has gone into the planning and planting of gorgeous gardens, for the sheer joy of life and colour.
truly a paradise and very apt words to describe it….could feel the excitement, wonder and ecstatic joy in every word…The last three lines say it all..
What a treat you’ve given us. I’ve been to Annecy but didn’t know about the gardens.
I’m with Glenn Buttkus. I can enjoy a constructed garden, but nature’s garden is the one I enjoy most. Even so, your poem evoked beautiful feelings, and the last stanza tells us the “why”.
oh wow – sounds like a beautiful place – i love that they took the time to plant and let it grow – good things always need time
It sounds so delightfully eclectic: “An assault on the senses…disparate elements reclaimed from Morocco, Java, Spain…copper filigree…bulbous earthen pumpkins….one more terrace…another flowerbed…water in every form…unhurried, unforced….” Just the way a garden should be: beautiful madness worthy of a lovely poem.
It really flouts all conventional garden theories, it is an over-abundance of influences and styles, it really shouldn’t work, but you just can’t resist it. As one of the grandchildren said: “It’s not a ‘jardin secret’, it’s a ‘jardingue’ ” (dingue meaning mad, folly, in French).
Lovely description of the garden . Your delight beams through.
Such beautiful descriptions Marina of a truly beautiful garden. Another place I’d like to see.
Come and visit, do! So much to see and do in this area…
It’s certainly looks like it Marina, I’ll add it to my growing list.
How enchanting – thanks you for sharing this wonderful garden –
Gardens are always soothing. Lots relaxing walks.. Thank you beautiful picture and beautiful write.
From your words, I already love the place. It sounds like a piece of paradise.
Sounds like a beautiful place! If you ever get the chance, you should also visit Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Beautiful writing Marina!