Wideville in Autumn and Winter
The sumptuous book Wideville, sur le chemin du temps records the changing of the seasons at Wideville, the crown jewel among the Valentino estates. Much as you'd expect, the grounds of the Chateau de Wideville outside Paris are at their most lavish in spring and summer, when the gardens are all in bloom. But as Michel de Windt's photographs in the Wideville book record, those gardens claim their own kind of sublimity the rest of the year, too.
Autumn at Wideville is a potpourri of color, with the falling leaves creating a carpet of russet, ochre and cognac, and the last of the year's blossoms giving way to fall fruits and vegetables—green apples, purple grapes, speckled squash and plump pumpkin. The morning mists bathe the estate in a soft glow, lending a fairy tale quality to the galloping of the Wideville horses around their stables.
Then winter comes. The sculpted stone mastiffs overlooking the gardens gaze on as the grounds are blanketed in snow. The trees, shorn of their leaves, make for a fretwork of branches silhouetted against the endless sky. The ripple of water as a swan crosses the Wideville pond is nearly the only sound to break the silence—a silence profound and meditative, quiet enough to believe you can hear the ghosts of Wideville residents past, or perhaps even that of Mother Nature herself, working below ground to coax the Chateau's gardens back to life…