Marche' aux Fleurs

08/26/2012

 
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Outside corner of one of the large iron and glass pavillions comprising the Paris flower market on the Ile de la Cite'.
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A view into one of the flower market pavilions.

The Paris Flower Market

Being a long-time landscape designer and plant addict, i can't visit Paris without being lured by the many florists and garden centers around the city.  There are fresh and potted flowers on display all over the city.  I never miss an opportunity to go to the Paris Flower Market. It's a fantastic place to escape the sidewalks  and shop for plants, flowers, gifts and crafts, or to just while away a little time when the weather is rainy or cold.  I can't seem to go anywhere near the Ile de la Cite' (home to Notre Dame and the Conciergerie) without dropping by the flower market to see what new gifts have arrived and which seasonal plants are being sold for the balconies and courtyards of Paris.  I love all the bamboo and citrus plants.
     Parisians will inevitably be buying mums and ivy plants for the window boxes they hang from the handrails around their balconies or from the wrought iron rails on the floor-to-ceiling french windows which overlook the streets below.  The tourists in the market will be sorting through colorful linens, fragrant lavender sachets, shabby chic garden products and other souvenirs to take back to their own countries for a unique momento of the City of Light.  
     The several iron and glass buildings are packed with a wide variety of annual and perennial plants of all sizes.  There are giant olive trees and large, old boxwoods or laurels in massive terracotta pots.  It seems that bamboo has become extremely popular over the last decade; I've seen large pots of bamboo on balconies all across Paris.  One thing is certain - it's not necessary to settle for the same old routine plants if you live in Paris.   The Marche' aux Fleurs has the most exotic and interesting plants available on the market today.  It's a beautiful place to lose yourself for an hour or more and you can even grab a souvenir of Paris and the flower market.  If you visit on a Sunday, you will arrive to the sounds of an aviary.  Each Sunday the flower market becomes the home of the weekly Marche' aux Oiseaux (the bird market).  There are birds of every size and color.   Quite pretty, but for me it's all about the plants. 
     The market is beside the river Seine and at the historic center of Paris.  The architecture of the market and the entire surrounding area is ancient and beautiful.  It's seems like visiting a park inside a building, both which are inside a museum -  a museum called Paris.   She never disappoints...
Michael
 


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