100% creation

Gardens of the Palace of Versailles, an art within the reach of Elena Secondo

Audio 04:47

Elena Secondo, art gardener © Christian Milet / Palace of Versailles

By: Maria Afonso

4 mins

100% creation

takes up summer quarters in Versailles: focus on crafts.

Today, gardeners.

They are sixty to work in the gardens of Versailles, divided into sectors.

Elena Secondo, art gardener and responsible for the parterre of the Grand Trianon, opens the gate of the estate's park to us. 


For Louis XIV, the gardens were as important as the castle.

With his gardener, André Lenôtre, he created the French gardens with an impressive rendering, but also a place of distraction and enchantment.

Elena Secondo has set herself the ambition of surprising

visitors to the Palace of Versailles.

When we walk around the Palace of Versailles, we can imagine Louis XIV, Louis XV, Marie-Antoinette, what they could see in this place.

Everyone knows the Palace of Versailles and its French gardens.

They were born here.

I'm a landscape designer and I've studied this story in books, so being here means a lot to me


Estate of Trianon - view from the sky © Palace of Versailles


I work with the team for visitors, for tourists, not just for my pleasure, my passion.

Once I finished the green parterre, I had shivers, but to receive after the comments of the visitors, even if they are negative, that brings me something more


The green parterre of the Palace of Versailles by Elena Secondo, art gardener © Palace of Versailles- Elena Secondo

Elena Secondo studied town planning and landscaping with a specialization in art gardening in Italy.

In 2017, she arrived in Versailles and is now responsible for the gardens of the Grand Trianon.

Elena Secondo likes to be in the field: creating beds, pruning groves or completely redoing a flowerbed, for this she draws up a design before setting it up on the ground.

The activity of the gardeners accompanies the seasons: weeding, cutting the lawns, watering, picking up the leaves, maintaining the groves.

Elena Secondo exercises her profession with a breath of imagination while respecting the history of the place.  

Euphorbia characias, green flowerbed - Elena Secondo © Palace of Versailles- Elena Secondo


In 2020 and 2021, the flowerbeds of the Trianon were completely different and unique, it was unheard of.

They were composed of perennials, shrubs and trees.

It was a green floor and that could shock


But it was to have a sensitivity to the eye of the nuance of the greens, which the gardeners of Versailles did at the time and which they still do today, in the English garden, they work with the different shades of foliage

 ,” she explains.

The green parterre seen from above © Château de Versailles-T.


This year's floor, as always, is a new challenge for Elena Secondo with her team.

The aim is to move visitors to the Palace of Versailles.


This year, the high parterre is dedicated to King Louis XIV and most of the plants refer to the animals of the royal menagerie, for example a plant called lion's tail, the symbol of power, plants that can remind the French people like cockscomb.

The lower parterre is dedicated to Napoleon who also lived in the Grand Trianon, so to the bee, with a bed in a flowery meadow and right next to it, we are going to install hives to have a small production of honey

 ", informs us Elena Secondo .

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