Sunday, May 28, 2006

Mon Jardin

When we lived in the US, we were surrounded by beauty, every day. Nature gave us gorgeous views, lush green lawns, tall trees and the endless blue sky. We were spoiled, and often took for granted the amazing sights around us.

Living in the city of Paris, we are surrounded by beauty, but that of a manmade nature. Beautiful architecture, charming cobblestone streets, incredible statues, churches, sculptures--it's all there to be admired, but the thing we miss the most are not made by man.

We are lucky to live in one of the greenest quartiers in Paris. Wide boulevards are made more attractive with medians of green grass and trees. Available space is lined with benches, bricked walkways, and beds of flowers. Parks are popular places, and as soon as the trees start leafing out, the citizens return. But even so, I find myself missing the smell of the freshly turned soil, the fun of watching something I planted grow and prosper under the warmth of the sun.

Earlier this spring, I bought a little kit, which included seeds for fresh basil, oregano and cherry tomatoes, planted in a little tin pot. I carefully followed the instructions, but was disappointed when the tomato sprouts just fell over and died one day, and the herbs never even tried to raise their heads above the soil. "Oh, that's normal. It's hard to get things to grow here, in Paris," the girls' music teacher told me.

As I was walking home from the bus stop last week, I noticed a new crop of plants outside my favorite local florist. I've stopped there before, and love to return when I have a few extra euros in my pocket. The stores smells heavenly, the florists are always smiling and helpful, and their cat comes out to greet all new customers. Hung next to the cash register is a photo of the florists (I believe husband and wife) in black and white, with their smiling faces just peeking out above two flower pots, as if they themselves were the posies.

This time, in amongst the cut flowers were small pots of some of my favorites, the easy to grow impatiens. I passed them for days, thinking of stopping, but the little voice in my head kept echoing "it's hard to get things to grow here in Paris." But as I passed yet again, I felt in my pocket, and found a few euro coins.

It may be petit, but it's my little garden. Enjoy the view.

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5 Comments:

At 12:12 PM, May 28, 2006, Anonymous KJM said...

Hi Mrs B

Check out Quai de la Megisserie, Metro Pont Neuf. Lots of plant stores with racks of flowers on the sidewalks on Saturdays. Even if you can't buy any to take home, you can breathe in the smell of soil!

 
At 6:38 PM, May 28, 2006, Blogger Chelee said...

They are lovely!

 
At 10:22 AM, May 29, 2006, Blogger ~steph~ said...

I hear you on that one! I would miss the "nature aspect" of my home too. Although, it's so freakin hot today 30 c and very humid! (typical Toronto summer), that I might pass on planting flowers in my pots this afternoon. I just went to the bank to make a deposit for work and it's just brutal outside!! Too bad it wasn't half this warm on the May 24 (victoria day) weekend. It was so cold up north, 6 c and rainy. But, I did hear the first "loon call" of the year... that is the best sound of the summer at the cottage!! Sitting on the dock, or our little beach, watching Ethan playing, surrounded by the huge rocks, trees, bush and hearing the loon. Nothin better!

 
At 7:11 PM, May 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would miss the sight of mother nature in all her glory too. We had a fabulour Memorial Day wkend. JOn used one of his vacation days and made it a long wkend. K and kids travelled with us to the lake and Ryon met us there. His father and step Mom and neice and 2 nephews came too with their "camper"--42 ft and sides that widen and a king size bed for them and queen and double for kids! Never have seen anything like it!! And he actually made the curvy driveway...looked like trying to thread a needle with rope!! He managed quite easily! Was the nicest Mem Day I can remember. In the high 80's and 90's all wkend. Everyone spent the wkend in the water and on the jetski....and tubing. Even little Becca.....fun! B

 
At 7:47 AM, May 30, 2006, Blogger Kat said...

Mrs B: Beautiful flowers! I do not have a green thumb, but I always appreciate a pretty flower. It's amazing how, when living in a big city, one's *requirements* change. We learn to adjust (from big green gardens to a window plant). I'm so enjoying the blog!

 

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