Alice de Rothschild (1847-1922) began to spend winters on the Riviera in 1887. Finding the coast vulgar, she purchased 100 hectares of land among the perfume fields of Grasse and began to build a house and possibly one of the most ostentatious and extravagant gardens ever seen.
The terraced hillside was landscaped into rolling parkland, where Alice planted citrus trees by the hundred, arranged in groups to make them appear more natural and integrate with the existing landscape.
There was a rock garden, a winter-flowering grotto and a spectacular 3 kilometre drive designed with hairpin bends; around every corner lay a surprise for the visitor as the planting became progressively wilder and the panorama extended itself further the higher one climbed.
Alice employed over 100 gardeners, dressed in the Rothschild colours of blue and yellow, to maintain her garden. Each year they planted 55,000 daisies, 25,000 pansies, 10,000 wallflowers, 5,000 forget-me-nots and 23,000 bulbs of tulips and narcissi.