The King’s Kitchen Garden at Versailles

Series/Book Title: 
The Compleat Gard’ner; or, Directions for Cultivating and Right Ordering of Fruit-Gardens and Kitchen-Gardens; with Divers Reflections on Several Parts of Husbandry . . . To which is Added, his Treatise of Orange-Trees, with the Raising of Melons, Omitted in the French Editions. Made English by John Evelyn. Illustrated with Copper Plates
London: Printed for M. Gillyflower

Except for the Orangery, which sheltered thousands of citrus trees, the main gardens of Versailles were purely ornamental. Cultivation of fruits and vegetables was relegated to the Potager du Roi (King’s Kitchen Garden), located in the town a few blocks southeast of the palace. Its director was Jean-Baptiste de La Quintinie, who had quit the practice of law to become a gardener and was eventually ennobled for his services. His horticultural manuals were published posthumously and translated into English, German, and Italian. Today the Potager, which is not part of the estate of Versailles, is a working garden open to visitors and home to the Ecole nationale supérieure de paysage (National School of Landscape Architecture).

Rare Book Division.