Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bonjour, Chicago

Well, I am back and with a bit of a foie gras myself....daily croissants and chausson aux pommes can do that to you. But let's talk plants. I arrived in Paris a few weeks too early for true spring blossoms. Overall it was cool and bit wet, much like here in Chicago. The buds on the trees and shrubs at the Luxembourg Gardens were teetering right on the edge of blooming:

Nevertheless, one could appreciate how the park would look in a month. Imagine this tree-lined walk in late April!

There was less green space in Paris than I had anticipated, though I suspect that there is many a lush courtyard hidden behind the imposing facades that line the streets. Someone must be gardening: the flower market on the Ile de la Cite had stall upon stall of shrubs, perennials and edibles. The variety of strawberry plants on display was staggering, as were the large pots of lavender. The only edible garden I stumbled upon was a kitchen potager behind one restaurant. Given the climate, I was unsurprised to find it was pretty close to mine, meaning all they had was chives:

The parks we did walk through were strictly formal affairs, with flat expanses of gravel and lawn, punctuated by severely trimmed hedges and carefully placed trees. I am not a huge fan of formal gardening, but my husband loves the look of geometrically shaped hedges:

God help me if we ever get a bigger lawn or he gets more time on his hands. I fear he will want to turn our property into a vast expanse of cones and hedge labyrinths, a style more suited to a late-18th century Parisian mansion than a rickety Midwest farmhouse.

I'm off to inspect the state of my fledgling garden....this was a tough week to leave my tender baby plants. Amid the rush to get to the airport, I was able to throw some reemay over my outdoor seedlings to protect them from the slush and snow. Looks like they survived so far. Next I'll post on my culinary explorations of Paris...stay tuned.


  1. Comment tele vous? Tres bien, I hope. It was a good time for you to go because there is not much going on here yet. This next week is supposed to be very magnifique!


  2. I'm also a big fan of the geometrical gardens and have wanted to turn my little patch into something like the pic you posted above.

  3. I've been traveling against my gardens better judgement as well, though no where half as exciting. looking forward to your culinary posts : )