A peaceful square
The square Roger-Stéphane, formerly known as square Récamier, lies at the end of a quiet pedestrian lane. The garden occupies the site of the former Convent of the Abbaye aux Bois, where famous society figure Madame Récamier lived, from 1819 to 1849. She held a salon here; a highlight of Parisian literary and artistic life, where numerous famous writers and artists would gather. These included Lamartine, Sainte-Beuve, Balzac, Delacroix and also Chateaubriand, who would come here every day to read from the latest chapters of his “Mémoires d’outre-tombe” (Memoirs from Beyond the Grave)
This hidden garden, with its small pond and waterfall, is laid out over multiple levels. In the shade of diverse foliage, you will find the perfect spot to sit and read. Pause for a moment under the cascading leaves of the weeping beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula') or beneath the Chinese mahogany (Toona sinensis 'Flamingo') in springtime with its oval, salmon pink leaves, or among the brilliant red leaves of the Chinese sumac (Rhus chinensis) in the fall or under the perfumed leaves of the fig tree (Ficus carica L.) in the heat of a summer’s day.
The garden’s flowerbeds are populated with bamboos, periwinkles, potentillas, toadflax, and comfrey (Symphytum officinale). This plant attracts bumblebees, which usually pierce a hole at the base of the corolla in order to reach the nectar more quickly. Bees, whose tongues are too short to reach the nectar, can also use the holes pierced by the bumblebees. Ladybug larvae roam the rose bushes where they usually find an abundance of food in the form of aphids. Among the honeysuckle and rhododendrons you can spot a prickly-branched Japanese pepper (Zanthoxylum piperitum), whose red berries are used as a condiment in Japanese cooking.