The Gardens of Christian Dior
In Milly-la-Forêt, at Moulin du Coudret ("my first home all of my own!"), Christian Dior seamlessly swapped his perfect gray suits for his favorite striped overalls of a simple gardener. He put on his rubber boots, his big sweater and cap and set about filtering and bottling his raspberry liqueur, planting, hoeing, watering ... Moreover, his efforts quickly bore metaphorical fruit because, according to Françoise Giroud, "we walked on flowers." In his memoirs, Dior tells of his developing garden, which of course is reminiscent of his mother's in Granville. "Having had the chance to keep the faithful and wonderful Ivan who took care of my garden in Fleury, I asked him to create the one at Coudret. Despite its size, I wanted it as simple and as modest as the little gardens that, in my beloved Normandy, front the little country houses along the roadsides. In order to obtain a similarly sensible result, it was necessary to perform real miracles, overcoming the swamp, domesticating the river and taming the forest that surrounds it. Thus protected from any prying eyes, with the only view being on my flowers , my streams and my little pond, I can hear the bells of Milly in peace. "
In Montauroux, he bought and restored life to the La Colle Noire estate. He had a huge pool dug and fully renovated the old building that dominates the vast terrains planted with vines, jasmine and cypress as far as the eye can see. On the terrace of his bedroom the wisteria bloomed, while the walls of the dining room were covered with an ornate floral print of 18th-century inspiration that also sprouted over the curtains, tablecloth and chair upholstery. In this most bucolic of environments, he sought to spend his old age. "I could turn the page on my life and find, in a different climate, the enclosed garden that protected my childhood (...) and finally live peacefully, leaving behind Christian Dior to become Christian."