Gorgeous Greens

The history of château gardens

The French Garden (Vendome Press; $75) traces the history of château gardens in 150 often stunning photographs by Jean-Baptiste Leroux, with text by Mic Chamblas-Ploton and Jean-Pierre Babelon, the latter a former director of the park at Versailles. The book surveys the gardens of Versailles, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Fontainebleau, and two dozen other French châteaux (including Manoir d'Eyrignac, right), as well as gardens in Russia (Peterhof), Austria (Schönbrunn), and elsewhere. There are green allées that practically sweep you into the picture; elegant pools flanked by trellises and statuary; and most striking, elaborate parterres de broderie that beckon like giant Oriental carpets.