Wideville in Spring
In the book Wideville, sur le chemin du temps, writer Catherine de Montalambert notes that the story of a man and a place can be a kind of love story. For Mr. Valentino and his Chateau de Wideville, the story is a true amour fou—a mad love, one that stirs a longing for the object of affection that surpasses rational understanding. Thus does Mr. Valentino return each spring to Wideville, a place at its most beautiful as winter goes into hiding and the blossoms emerge from the soil.
The Wideville gardens are a thing to see in the springtime. The array of the formal gardens, laid out in the 17th Century, resolve into a palette of greens—every imaginable green, from the near-black of the trees pressed against the horizon, to the gold-green of tender new shoots of grass on the lawns. Beds of crimson tulips and purple iris. The white of crocus and snapdragon dappling the gardens’ wilder corners. This is nature at its most effusive—the earth opening up to reveal all its secret life, as de Montalambert writes. The mossed-over ancient statues never sleep, she points out, and bear witness to the rites of Wideville in spring. And every spring, Mr. Valentino comes to join them. Wouldn’t you?