I don't usually take touristy photos of Paris, but I was in the mood for it today in the Luxembourg gardens. Now that tourist season is mostly finished, they have regained their calm, especially on a Monday morning when the children are in school and most people are at work.
Also, autumn is my favorite season to see the park.
Verlaine has suffered from the elements over the years.
There were a few young couples on romantic walks.
However, it was mostly the time of day for old people to use the park.
There was an unexpected temporary installation in one section between the trees. It was a re-creation of the Iron Curtain, put on display as a joint project of the Austrian and Hungarian embassies.
It is the end of geranium season, but a few of the pots still have some for the final display of the year. Yes, not all of these are geraniums.
The flower beds are set up at the moment for the late summer display of yellows and purples. Of course a few other colors are mixed in for contrast.
No cute little sailboats today. All of the children are in school.
A lot of people (including the French) do not know that the Luxembourg gardens are not technically a public park. It is the private park of the Senate, which the Senate has graciously put at the disposal of the public. Well, after all, the French invented the word "nuance" and this one is really obscure.
Here is the Senate.
In the summer, people kill for a seat at this café in the garden. People stand around the outer ring and scramble when somebody gets up to leave. No problem at this time of year.
Saint Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris, watches over the garden, among the other statues.
One of the principal activities of Parisians in the Luxembourg gardens is to sit and read. I am totally unable to read in such a place, because I need to see what is going on around me.
Chairs await you everywhere at this time of year.
Soon the leaves will form a dense carpet, but not yet.
The Tour Montparnasse is the most visible sight from the Luxembourg gardens and has looked inappropriate since the day it was built.
It's hard to leave without at least glancing at the Medicis fountain, even though she was a murderous bitch.
It's time to leave, but the dancing faun bids us goodbye.
Post by bixaorellana on Sept 21, 2009 15:45:10 GMT
Wow! This was a revelation and very beautiful to boot. My favorite of the group was easily the 2nd photo of the empty cafe which, with just a squint of my presbyopic eyes, turns into a perfectly composed Impressionist painting.
The big surprise for me are the exuberant plantings which meld so wonderfully with the formal layout of the park. Hats off to the brilliant and sensitive gardeners who made those beds.
As with so many of the other photo-views of Paris you've given us, what is so striking and civilized are the ways that humans are welcomed and accommodated, as shown by the relaxed readers and the availability of seating everywhere.
And, re: the murderous bitch ~~ she did bring cuisine to France.
Funny how Luxembourg gardens seem to be either a 'must see' or a 'must miss' depending on whom one asks. Beautiful photos although looking at nice photos of Paris makes me wish I were there now. It's beginning to look like the Tour Montparnasse won't be a beloved future Tour Eiffel isn't it? The first time my parents took me there it was under construction and even then we agreed it wasn't a welcome addition to the skyline.
<pedantic note> No geraniums at all that I could see, only pelargoniums ;D
We will be there soon, oh the list gets longer and longer.
When you're chewing on life's gristle[br]Don't grumble, give a whistle[br]And this'll help things turn out for the best...[br]And...always look on the bright side of life...[br]Always look on the light side of life.[br]Monty Python's Life of Brian[br]
As nice as Kerouac's flower and fountain pictures are, I confess that there are parks I prefer in Paris. I find both the Tuileries and Luxembourg too formal, with those endless dusty paths.
I much prefer the Square des Batignolles in the 17th, Buttes-Chaumont in the 19th, and the two parks that were designed by architects with a completely different attitude to parks: Bercy in the 12th and Citroen, on the site of the former Citroen factory, in the 15th. There is a nice little square inside the Palais Royal too.
But at least the gardeners working in public parks in France have left behind those horrible little begonias and do much more interesting flower beds, with varying heights and colours.
Oh wow, you should see it some day, and it is even better after dark, because it has very interesting lighting, including strips of colored fluorescents buried in the pavement. It's one of the only parks that doesn't close at night, but after midnight you are only allowed to cross it as quickly as possible by the shortest possible path under the unfriendly surveillance of the omnipresent security staff.
That's one thing I love about American city parks, that they aren't generally fenced. Parisian parks seem cold and unfriendly by comparison with their strictly gated entrances- to me they scream, "This is not really your park. You enter here only because we have deigned to allow it." whereas unfenced parks invite you in without the scowl. Actually I can't recall city parks outside Paris being surrounded by spiky security fences either. Maybe it's a Parisian thing.
No, I think that most French parks are fenced. On top of that, whenever there is a major storm forecast, they are closed completely, because a few years ago somebody was killed by a falling branch. Now that's the sort of thing I would have expected in the United States.
Nevertheless, I would imagine that the principal reason for closing the parks at night is to protect the horticultural aspects. You would not believe how many rose bushes, bulbs or whatever are stolen from parks when anybody can get to them in the middle of the night.
I guess that's why most American parks are just trees and grass.
Well, it is true that in a city full of homeless and also refugees (Anybody who hasn't read the story about the Afghan refugees in 'Port & Starboard' should do so.), the parks would be full of them at night if they were not closed.
That didn't stop the Afghans in the 'Square Villemin' but they were tolerated for more than a year until they were finally expelled.
It appears that I am among the last persons to have photographed the Luxembourg palm trees. The newspaper says that they were permanently removed yesterday, because they have become too big to spend the winter in the Senate greenhouse. They will spend a pleasant retirement in a botanical garden in Anjou.
I assume that new smaller palm trees will appear in the Luxembourg gardens next year, unless they decide on some other innovation instead.
Thank you for this. Have so often read of these gardens featured prominently in novels. Allen Furst uses them a lot in his novels. Are the leaf changing trees chestnuts? They were midway their display in NY. I miss them. The flower shots are gorgeous . Agree with bjd about the layout display and variety,also,the bold colors. Thanks again.
There are a complex of greenhouses just across the road from the Roland Garros tennis complex that I think have some smaller palms. Nothing of the grandeur of Luxembourg palms though and I think they stay inside .
Those are the municipal greenhouses for all of the public parks of Paris -- that's where all of the flowers in every public garden in Paris begin their lives. For the last three years, one of the streets near my office (a very chic one of course) was lined with potted palms for six months of the year. This year they stopped doing it.
But there is an actual street in the 19th arrondissement lined with palm trees. I have some pictures of it somewhere. *runs off to look*