Paris, France – 2011
The city of love
With over two million citizens in Paris, space is at a premium when it comes to gardening. Yet Parisians have found a way to add color to windows and balconies of apartments throughout the city. Elaborate boxes, pots of flowers, or simple greens drew our eyes upward wherever we traversed across the city.
Cafes and shops on the ground floor must appreciate the color at windows above their place of business. Those businesses with flowers above certainly offered greater attraction for me and it was fun to swing a camera up to capture lovely micro-gardens high above our heads.
A quarter of the total area of Paris is dedicated to parks and gardens and woods of all shapes and sizes making the city the greenest in Europe. We were told there were over 450 green areas to explore within the city starting with large areas of woods just outside Paris, to the numerous ‘parcs’ found in every district, to lovely ‘jardins,’ and the smallest ‘squares’ of green in every neighborhood.
Paris is solidly committed to green for not only do trees cool the air during the heat of the summer, they help to reduce air pollution in the city. All of the green areas provide benches for rest; some provide play equipment, others encouraging sports while music can be found on the lawns of many parks.
All over the city, orderly rows of trees are common sights along promanades and boulevards. The Silver Linden tree (Tilia tomintosa), a tree tolerant of insect pests and pollution, forms dense foliage and is a popular tree to use in many parks. Silver undersides to the leaves gives the tree a pretty sheen in the light.
While crowds of people filled the plaza in front of the cathedral, photographing, lining up to tour Notre Dame, this quiet oasis on the opposite side invited visitors with cameras a perfect view of flying buttresses of Notre Dame over the silver Linden trees of the garden.Ann Hoheberger, The Garden Club of Gloucester