Garden history is one of my interests, and this image of the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
shows the 17th C garden designed by the great André Le Nôtre
that led to his being hired by Louis XIV to design the gardens at Versailles. It perfectly expresses the Baroque æsthetic that dominated French gardens for the next 150 years. By the last quarter of the 19th C, such formality had given way to the more naturalistic styles. In my novel, however, the Renicks take pleasure in having been able to restore their garden to its 18th C splendor. I visualized their garden as smaller than this but large even so and also shaded on the sides by trees grown old by the 1870’s.
During my research, I visited the Musée Rodin
, which gave me an image of the back of the Renicks' house and allowed me to visualize a large garden in the heart of Paris.