Travel Snapshots: Paris
My snapshots from Paris! A peek at the flower market, various florists and their bouquets, the flea market, and more!
I've put together a quick slide show of some of my favorite green inspiration moments that I saw when in Paris in late September. (I did a separate post about Paris's Promenade plantée, the city's elevated garden.)
These are just a few little moments at the flower market, in front of florists, at the museum, and walking down the street that I loved. I hope you'll enjoy browsing through these snapshots, as much as I enjoyed visiting the City of Light!
Left: I loved the dramatic balcony plantings that decorated the Haussmann-style buildings that define the look of Paris.
We (my husband and I) went to the flea market or the Marché aux Puces, also known as where Owen Wilson finds true love in Midnight in Paris.
The flea market was a collector's dream, with every era of furniture you might want represented, as well as lots of vintage linens, china, and more. Many of the buildings were covered in ivy, making it even more picturesque.
At this small stall, more inexpensive trinkets were to be found (we bought a few postcards from the 1940s) and it was like a Wes Anderson prop store, filled with irony, twee knicknacks, and beautifully styled.
The Marché aux Fleurs, or the flower market, has been on the Île de la Cité, one of the small islands in the middle of the Seine, since 1808. It is open every day and on Sundays, it becomes a bird market.
Dahlias were everywhere, including this pink spiky variety at the flower market.
All colors of cosmos and anemones—from pale white to deep chocolate brown—were on sale at the market. Here, pots of pink anemones on sale.
Pots of Chinese lantern plants (known in French as amour en cage or caged love, and in Latin as Physalis alkekengi) sit among cyclamen and Ceratostigma plumbaginoides.
Just like here, in the United States, succulents are popular in Paris, too. A tray of small succulents at the market had a graphic punch.
[See our Decorating with Succulents article.]
An unusual variety of hydrangea sits by itself at the market.
Outside one of the stalls, a bit of whimsy: a metal rooster serves as a planter.
A covered aisle at the market sells garden geegaws and small plants.
The many squares in Paris, like Place des Vosges, in the Marais neighborhood, are a lovely bit of French urban planning.
Parisian squares, or places, are often laid out with formal plantings of trees, like the lime trees in the center of the square here, creating a clearly defined landscape within the city. (And the Place des Vosges is extremely popular with tourists and locals alike—it has always been one of the more prestigious addresses in the city, serving as home, over the years, to Victor Hugo, Cardinal Richelieu, and Madame de Sévigné.)
There were lots of cute florists around the city, many of which were open quite late—until 9 or 10 at night! Paris, the city that needs flowers late at night?
Lots of florists had ready-made bouquets outside their stores. I thought it was interesting how many of the florist's bouquets—the equivalent of a deli's bouquet here in New York—had such a distinct French style. I particularly liked the unusual combinations in many bouquets, such as this mix of ornamental kale, hydrangeas, alliums, and kermit mums.
Another day, another florist. I noticed that the Parisian flower shops liked to sell these tightly rounded bouquets, often with a bit of an unexpected element. In these two bouquets, Gerbera daisies, roses, and Alstroemeria—flowers that you would often see at a New York deli—get some stalks of coxcomb mixed in to add some texture and wit to a fairly standard grouping of flowers.
Walking by a door, I saw this detail inside the wrought iron detailing. Paris always has these unexpected secrets everywhere you look.
And up in the Eiffel Tower, you can get a bird's eye view of the parks, trees, and streets of Paris. When you are walking in the streets, it's not always easy to have a sense of what a park is meant to look like as a whole, but the height of the viewing platforms of the Eiffel Tower offer a view that makes the city look like an architect's rendering.