Pix & notes: Paris gardens

The weather was beautiful most of the time we were there in early May, but be advised that a taxi driver told us they typically got four seasons in one week at that time of year, from cold and wet to hot and sunny. The irises were stunning, though I didn’t get pictures of them. Roses were budding, but not yet blooming. Funny; they were almost done in Austin when I left.

Jardin du Luxembourg

This lovely park was near our hotel, so we went there to refresh ourselves several times. It’s veryjardin-du-luxembourg French, very formal, symmetrical and mostly hardscape. But lots of shade and places to sit and enjoy the sweet spring breezes. Also great for people-watching!

Here’s what Wikipedia tells us: It was created beginning in 1612 by Marie de’ Medici, the widow of King Henry IV of France, for a new residence she constructed, the Luxembourg Palace. The garden today is owned by the French Senate, which meets in the Palace. It covers 23 hectares and is known for its lawns, tree-lined promenades, flowerbeds, model sailboats on its circular basin, and picturesque Medici Fountain, built in 1620.

There are statues of French queens ringing the upper level around the central pond. I took a picture of each one. Here’s a couple of faves.

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Marie Stuart, aka Mary Queen of Scots, 1542-1587. She was queen consort of Francis II of France from 1559-1560.
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Clemence Isaure, a quasi-legendary medieval figure credited with founding the Academy of the Floral Games, in which gold and silver flowers were awarded to poets. Très français, non?

 

Place des Vosges

We wanted to visit the home of Victor Hugo, but alas, it was closed. So was the shoe store nearby that my Mom wanted to check out. This is Paris: half of what you want to see will be closed while you’re there. Luckily, there are lots of alternatives.

This little park is famous chiefly for being surrounded by lovely apartment buildings, all built together in harmony and symmetry. Everything in Paris is orderly and symmetrical!! It was the first planned square in Paris, built by Henri IV from 1605 to 1612 well to the east of the main jumble around the Ile de la Cite. It was popular with the nobility during the 17th and 18th centuries. Cardinal Richelieu lived at No. 21 from 1615 to 1627. Victor Hugo lived at No. 6 sometime during his lifetime, 1802-1885. My Moriartys could rent a flat here when they visit Paris and stroll around the square, clockwise, one supposes, in the evening.

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Love these Parisian lamposts!

Jardin des Plantes

This is the botanical garden of Paris, a nice place to amble around on a sunny day. It was too bright for good photographs. Also, we seemed to have caught it at a bad time, when many beds were in the midst of being planted. For herbal medicine lore, I would recommend the Chelsea Physic Garden in London, which I’ve blogged about.

This garden was first planted for medicinal purposes on behalf of King Louis XIII. It was opened to the public in 1640.

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Hotel for Bees in the Jarden des Plantes.
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Eglantine (I think.) Fabulously fragrant. I saw a grown man standing with his nose buried in this marvelous vine.
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A weird giant fern in the greenhouse where we learn about the evolution of plants. We get many science lessons as we tour the marvels of Paris. Rationalism rules here! I like it.

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