Even adults going to school need “field trips”. Not only as days off to break up the monotony of the classroom schedule but to learn new vocabulary, see culture in action and experience communication in other forms. Thus the french language school we attend schedules in quarterly field trips to different places around the Haute-Savoie region. Our fall school field trip was to a special garden. A little over an hour away from Albertville there is a special place called The Secret Garden or “Le Jardin Secret”. It was begun by Alain and Nicole Moumen who after buying an old farm in which to build furniture found themselves on an unusual journey creating outdoor architectural spaces with wood, mosaic, lounges, patios and galleries.
We were able to walk the many paths through the thirteen different “rooms” of the garden, exploring the designs, fountains, smells, sights and sounds. There was a unique combination of wood, iron grill work, stone and the greenery and colors of plants and flowers.
There was also indoor spaces with a pool, many rooms with low benches and pillows with North African motifs and influences due to its creators being part Tunisian, Moroccan and French.
The craftsmanship, design and interwoven compliments of different motifs and forms was truly captivating and rich with beauty and diversity. A demonstration of how we as humans are made in God’s image as designers, artists and craftsmen, and some humans with a tremendous amount of this God-given talent for artistry in different forms.
Since it is October with the fall weather upon us most of the flowers were beginning their winter’s rest and the gardens will close for the winter, reopening in the spring. For us it was a nice break from the classroom, a chance to take in the region around us, hear french from the guides and other visitors, learn some new vocabulary and appreciate the beauty God has given reflected back to Him in the works of humans who delight in expressing their talents in creating beauty. If you should find yourself near Annecy in France between the months of May to September, it is worth a trip off the beaten trail to visit the “Jardin Secret”.
From the garden our bus took us to Annecy, where there is still an old medieval village. We have visited Annecy several times because of it’s charm. We walked it’s narrow cobbled stone streets and enjoyed the beauty of Lake Annecy and the canals. Then it was back to Albertville to do homework and make up for lost class time!