First of the month and it's Theme Day in the City Daily Photo community. Subject: statues. Menton has many beautiful statues and here is a favourite of mine: Venus who stands in one of the beautiful pools at the garden of Serre de la Madone.
In 1907, Major Lawrence Johnston, an American born in Paris, started to create an outstanding garden at Hidcote Manor in Gloucestershire, England - incidentally, the first garden to be designated a National Trust garden. In 1924, he bought a large piece of land on the Route de Gorbio in Menton with the intention of creating a garden for sub-tropical plants. The result - Serre de la Madone with its fountains, pools, classical statuary, green garden rooms, a Moorish patio, orangeries for tender exotic plants and so on. Menton is famous for its beautiful gardens and this has to be one of the most beautiful.
Major Johnston travelled the world over a thirty-year period seeking plants he could acclimatise in his seven hectares of terraces at Serre de la Madone. He employed twelve gardeners and planted his prizes amongst the ancient olives. He died in 1958 at Serre de la Madone. After many years of neglect, the gardens have now been restored by the Conservatoire du Littoral who bought the garden in 1999 with the help of the Conseil Generale des Alpes-Martimes and other official organisations.
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