Saturday, September 26, 2009
Paris is very much a city of stone, but there is much more green, even in the heart of the city, than one might think. I'm not talking of formal parks, of which there are many, but of the hidden green to be found in courtyards and windows and even plant stores.
This garden is someone's personal Eden in a courtyard in the Marais. Its mix of plants is striking; that can't be a banana, can it?
Although the tropical look does seem to be a theme. This wall of bamboo is in the courtyard of a listed building on rue des Francs Bourgeois, also in the Marais, where a program to save and repair ancient buildings is encouraging restoration, and thus requiring those huge front doors to be left open for workers and curious passers-by.
On the other side of the Seine is La Gallerie des Femmes, a feminist publishing house, discussion space and art gallery. They evidently have a gardener onboard.
Where in other cities one might find a blank wall or a canvas for graffiti when an adjacent building is demolished, here you will often see a wall of climbing vines, offering a relief from the urban gray.
For those who want to take some greenery home, the array of plants available from the stores along the quais near Châtelet boggle the mind. Apple trees are easy to find, smaller plants are everywhere.
And then they wind up on terrasses and in the ubiquitous windowboxes.