Gardening stories

Andrej Abplanalp

Andrej Abplanalp

Historian and communications chief of the Swiss National Museum.

Today’s guerrilla gardeners plant pumpkins, maize, and beans and let tall sunflowers grow in public places. In the new trend of urban gardening, greenery is lovingly planted in every available space, while window boxes and plant pots allow miniature gardens to grow on balconies. In the past, space for gardens was much easier to find and there was nothing rebellious about tending a garden. Magnificent formal gardens were demonstrations of status and power. One such garden is that of the Château de Prangins on Lake Geneva in the canton of Waadt. Louis Guiguer created it in the 18th century. Today it is one of the largest historical vegetable gardens in Switzerland.

However, it is hardly likely that the baron would have wielded the spade himself – times have changed in this respect as well. More probably he would have paced the elegant white gravel paths while browsing one of Voltaire’s works.

The Château de Prangins is worth a visit. Photos: Swiss National Museum

Guerrilla Gardening in Los Angeles.

A funny biography of Voltaire who lived for some months in the Château de Prangins.

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