This week's Photohunt theme is Lick. I almost did not play this week. This is another theme that I did find inspiring. I knew it would have to be an animal licking but to find one that would be interesting and something that I had not blogged about. And I finally found one.
This is one of the cats in the French garden Serre de la Madone in Menton France. This garden was created by Lawrence Johnston who also created the renown English Garden, Hidcote Manor. It was designed as his winter garden.
The garden design is a series of outdoor room terraced up a hillside. The sheltered rooms allowed him to plant a wide variety of unique exotic plants and shelter them from the harsh climate. At the center point is a rather formal set of water ponds and Italian statuary. From the pond area, you can glimpse the wild hillsides surrounding the garden.
It had a wonderful serene ambiance. There is no set way to approach and tour the garden. Instead you are encouraged to explore the various ways. There are various paths taking you to different belvederes of the hillside, rooms and country house. The garden was maintained but left to abandon after Johnston's death in 1958. It was purchased by the city of Menton in 1999. It still has a wonderful and haunting feel of disrepair with crumbling stone work and seduction of the warm Riviera. Further information on the garden and location at Garden Visit website.
Here are some further photos of the ponds and terrace at the center of the garden.