Sabine is a curiosity in her society, because she has chosen to do what most women don’t – open a business as a gardening expert, live alone (since the loss of her husband and child), and manage her own affairs. She carefully thinks through all of her schematics but pushes them on no one, instead allowing others to judge their merit for themselves. She figures out how to design a sunken ballroom for herself, and spends a lot of time fixing whatever the lazy crew don’t get to, in her down-time, without complaining about it. Sabine is very creative with her garden designs. She chooses to break away from the more conventional ones that are historically accepted because they do not appeal to her, and she feels they are too formulaic and not “free” enough. Sabine specializes in creating garden designs, meticulous in their attention to detail and specific in their particulars. She spends much of her time outdoors in her garden; that’s the entirety of her obsession and focus, when she isn’t designing for other people or running her own business as a designer. She senses what seems off in a design and changes it, developing her own vision for it along the way; sometimes in small details (moving one of Andre’s potted shrubs into asymmetrical design) and sometimes in much larger ones. Sabine is somewhat naïve and unschooled in her wisdom – she believes because two trusted men in Andre’s company suggested she use a certain work crew that they will do the work; instead, they refuse to do the work, and cause her project to lag because she never thought the men might try to sabotage her results. She stumbles upon the king in the garden one day and assumes him a gardener and treats him as such (much to his delight). She knows not what to expect at the palace and is somewhat caught off guard by its swift momentum. She is quite humble and disinterested in her own self-promotion, and a little ill at ease when others appear to be irritated with her. She makes a social mistake when she turns up wearing an inappropriate hat to her interview (in an attempt to be fashionable) and then accidentally insults the man she came to see, by moving around his potted plants. At the end of the film, after she has fallen in love with another woman’s husband, she wonders what will become of her (the wife), showing concern for her as well. When the king insults his mistress in her presence, Sabine kindly likens her to a rose and urges the king to treat her well, let the sun shine upon her, and give her a bit of water, since all blooms eventually must fade away. Sabine is somewhat private in her emotions, but also needs others to reassure her and console her.

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Sabine lives a quiet and unassuming life, thinking the best of everyone and wanting to give them the benefit of the doubt. She never suspects Andre’s wife might sabotage her beautiful garden out of jealousy. She doesn’t like it when the king insults his mistress in front of the court, and does her best to soothe it over so no one is embarrassed. Sabine spends much of her time alone, trying to ignore the deep hurts of her past. She put her daughter’s things away in a trunk and has not looked at them since, in an effort to dampen the pain – and when she does open them up, after she has had an affair, she is overwhelmed by it, and wracked with guilt in the role she played in their accidental deaths. She draws no attention to herself and is surprised when others want to be around her, since she assumes nothing about them or their feelings, and does not consider herself to be an important person.