Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jardins du Monastere: Cimiez

   After going on Sunday to hear the concert, I couldn't resist giving you a glimpse one of the most ancient gardens in Nice, that of the Monastery of Cimiez.

It has even kept its "checkerboard" design since 1546!

Acquired by Nice it opened its paths to visits in June of 1927 after renovation by the garden designer, Auguste Louis Guiglaris (1882-1963) who also did the Villa Massena public garden and Parc Chambrun.

       The parc here is 9950 sq. meters and looks out over the sea, the observatory and the east of Nice.

 The flower beds are portioned out in rectangles on a lawn punctuated by orange, mandarin, lemon, olives, cypresses and some very old pomegranate trees.

 Like many plantings in the city of Nice, blossoms are used along side of vegetables and plants chosen for their color and architecture but free of flowers.  It makes an inspired collage.

An old well has been covered with hanging flowers, a pergola drips with roses.  One wall is reserved for majestic species of Iris and here we see the brilliant green of Hostas paired with a stunning blossom.  Does anyone out there know it's name?

I see an artichoke here among the other neutrals.

A grandaddy pomegranate or "Grenade".

I have found out since yesterday that the olive grove of the Arenes most likely belonged in the 17th century to Jean-Baptiste de Gubernatis, the first consul of Nice and was part of his agricultural domain.

And one last footnote about the alley of trees up the steps at the end of this garden... beyond the terrace and fountain.  Among the oaks and cypresses there is found the "Oppidum ligure" which as far as I can make out is a pile of stones which is part of the ruins of the Roman city of Cemenelum.

 Something comforting about flowers, ancient gardens and cities gone by...  why is that?   Maybe it's a form of denial or could that be acceptance .


  1. We were here the other day...how do they keep their roses so perfect??????? just a dream..love walking thru the cemetery too.


  2. We've had a very fortunate Spring and early Summer with temperatures considerably below norm, a blessing for plants and flowers that don't like being scorched. We've benefitted on our terrace, having bloomers last way past their sell-by date.


  3. Incredible Pictures
    I was raised in Nice, and grew up playing in the jardins du Monastère. Thanks for the memory !!

  4. Dear Anonymous, Thank you for this Christmas present, I received your message on the 25th Dec. I was so fortunate to have the perfect lighting for the chapel that day, at that hour. I find the gardens inspiring at any time of year however.