mardi 7 septembre 2010

Potager de Bercy Parc

On our long walk from the Gare du Lyon via the Promenade Plantée, we ended up in my favourite park in Paris (so far) - Bercy Park next to Cour St Emillion.  I found wonderful sights there!  The vegetable garden (potager) was in full fruit and flower and there were some very pretty displays in the park itself too.  I'll attach some photos.

One of the things I like about this park compared to others in Paris is the small personal touches and quirky ideas like the cane eiffel tower in the water and the really pretty oyster shell mobile in the veg garden.  It feels like there is a human hand behind the gardens, as opposed to some of the very municipal parks with their not very inspired, all the same planting, with their perfect rows and regimented flowers and plants.  Somehow I can imagine someone sat in Bercy Park and drilled the holes in the shells or knotted together those canes.  The planting is also quite wild and meadow like in places.  Anyway, without furhter ado, here's the photos.

vendredi 3 septembre 2010

Scores on the doors after August

Returning from a week's holiday I was a little nervous to see if the weather had been really hot back in Paris and, as a result, if all the tomatoes had quickly ripened and fallen off. I hate wasted food!

Luckily (for us), the end of August was pretty dire in Paris so I was able to pick and use over 200 tomatoes which had just perfectly ripened. The scores have changed, Mum was racing ahead and has been overtaken by young whippersnapper - just, it's close - and he's still got more to come! Scores at the end of August:

Mum 223
Dad 21 (but they're big ones remember)
Young whippersnapper 225
Eldest whippersnapper 32

Eldest is sore and disappointed he's done so badly but he's pragmatic and hasn't yet refused to eat the winning produce. Oh the politics of home growing!

I still feel great that we haven't had to buy one single tomato this summer and the plants are still going strong.

jeudi 2 septembre 2010

Promenade Plantée - The Green Corridor

Now the summer has passed it's time to reflect on what we got up to, share experiences and reccomendations. We had quite a few visits from friends and family and I found that they all bring their unique preferences and ideas about what to do. I like this very much as it forces me to see my home city in a different light and explore new territories.

Diane came with the suggestion of exploring the 'Promenade Plantée' so we went to Gare du Lyon station, walked up to Avenue Daumesnil and searched for the secret staircase that would bring us up above the railway arches full of trendy shops. We found the staircase and climbed up to a wonderful green walkway with fantastic views onto the Haussmanian buildings. It felt like a secret garden!

Apparently the walk was the old railway line from Bastille to La Varenne and it's possible to walk all the way to the Bois de Vincennes (although we came off earlier than that).

As well as being thoughtfully planted with various themes - bamboo, lavender etc), it's also a great spot to see the architecture that we wouldn't normally notice from the street. At 76 Avenue Daumesnil there are 12 enormous statues which are copies of a Michelangelo sculpture - the Dying Slave. They are (slightly strangely) placed at the top of a residential building by the architect Manolo Nunez-Yanowsky. It must be very impressive to open your window to these fantastic torsos every day!