one of the most reputed Mediterranean gardens
Ferdinand Bac, painter and novelist, designed and built this estate on the top of Menton, in the site of Garavan for his friends the Ladan-Bockairy family between 1918 and 1927.
From the Maison, the stroller embarks in fact on a journey around the Mediterranean. The species themselves are more Latin than exotic:
the garden is lined mainly with cypresses and olive trees. Approximately fifteen places marked with remarkable small picturesque buildings have a clearly superb view over the sea and the old town.
Ferdinand Bac loved fabriques, ‘ces ponctuations lapidaires’, he called them, and filled the landscape with such features as a pergola bridge, rotunda, obelisk, viewing platforms, and Homer’s Garden with its atrium and pool. In each he wanted to evoke ‘un lieu ravissant, parfumé et silencieux’ (a ravishing place, scented and silent).
He always respected the natural rocky landscape and was less interested in flowers than in trees, in particular the Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) whose soaring shapes enlivened the garden. He regarded it, rather than the fashionable date palms, as the natural tree of the Riviera landscape.
His books Les Colombières, ses jardins et ses décors (1925) and L’Âme du jardin (1926 ) give an idea of his garden philosophy.
Classed as an historical monument, the garden - renovated under the initiative of the owner and thanks to aide from the State and the “Conseil Général”