Step Inside Paris’s Most Anticipated New Garden

When Le Bristol Paris reopened its doors on September 1– following a nearly six-month coronavirus closure– it unveiled the final aspects of its decade-long rolling restoration. Comprising every square foot of the century-old hotel, which inhabits three Hausmann-style structures steps from the Élysée Palace, the redo exposes the delicate hand of interior designer Countess Bergit Douglas, a scion of the patrician Oetker household, the hotels owners.While she and her studio, MM-Design, masterminded the tranquil, pastel-hued, Louis XVI– inflected design of the 190 suites and rooms (including the newly produced pied-à-terre-style Suite Lumière), three dining establishments (2 of them Michelin-starred) and other cosseting public spaces, Countess Douglas count on outdoors aid to remaster Le Bristols signature yard garden. For that, she turned to Lady Arabella Lennox-Boyd, an Italian-born British aristocrat and landscape designer whose previous projects include the grounds of Sting and Trudie Stylers Tuscan vacation home, in addition to gardens for Douglas and Oetker household homes.Water, topiary, and planting (including Plumbago “Dark Blue,” Lobelia “Hadspen Purple,” Salvia farinacea “Victoria Blue,” and climbing Rosa “New Dawn”) develop a sanctuary in the middle of Paris.
Photo: Marianne MajerusWith her style for Le Bristol, Lady Arabella looked “to escape the normal hotel good taste, with the common white-and-green styles,” she informs ADVERTISEMENT. To do that, she sought to bring a pastoral feeling to the area, integrating formal elements like topiaries and hedges with those more typical of the gardens of a nation cottage, like loose plantings and flowing lawns. Her goal, she says, “was a countryside feeling in the city.” She kept the gardens existing grand magnolias, but little else remains as it was. “From the beginning, I desired to separate the yard with brand-new shapes for planting beds, centerpieces, and a complete redesign of the treillage wall.” By doing so, she developed a new geometry, both on the ground and vertically.The Woodland features a tapestry of ground covers, including silver Brunnera “Jack Frost,” and an emerald “yard” of soleirolia leading the eye to an antique stone urn.
Picture: Marianne Majerus