lundi 31 janvier 2011

Mur Vegetal Living Wall

or 'Living Wall'.  Here's two nice ones, used to great effect on two modern buildings.  First one at La Défense outside the new entrace to the 4 Temps shopping centre.

The second living wall I saw this weekend was framing the entrance to the Jean Nouvel building for the Fondation Cartier d'art Modern in 14th arr, Boulevard Raspail in Paris.

I liked the use of lights at La Défense and loved the lush, jungle effect of this living wall outside the Cartier Fondation, especially since it has bare branches sticking out of it just waiting to burst into leaf in spring so the wall will change with the seasons.  Really effective use of greenery in a fairly stark modern building.

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss or Art for Gardens

I passed by this artwork on the Parvis at La Défense (the Parisien version of Wall Street or the City of London).  I found the juxtaposition between the green and the glittering lights of the high rise blocks.  The artwork was part of a series in 4 major cities in France - Paris, Lille, Marseille and Lyon, organised to celebrate the International year of Chemistry.

The artwork is called  Le recyclage : « Rosae Plasticae » de Marie-Hélène Richard

This is her website; and interestingly she creates art for gardens, there are some very interesting pieces on her website, it's well worth a look.

Her work was a breath of fresh air and an interesting addition to the city landscape.

dimanche 23 janvier 2011

Pretty things

Here's an unusual post Christmas but still seasonal, with lots of flora and fauna, display at Bretano's bookshop on Avenue de l'Opéra. I rather liked the cute butterfly lamp, quite Victorian I thought, but at 76 Euros, it's staying in the window!

mardi 18 janvier 2011


Why not buy some flowers for someone you know? They would be so pleased to receive them. Here's a joyous little shop in Opera metro station.


mardi 11 janvier 2011

Snow damage to your plants

Or 'why it's important to shake your trees from time to time'.

Sad pics tell the tale. This little conifer has been covered in snow in December. I hadn't realised just how heavy snow is. Because the fall stayed so long, it laid heavy on our plants. I was more preoccupied with clearing the path rather than clearing the plants, didn't really think about it in the cold. And now I'm paying the price

of my inattention.

I have quite a few plants that are deformed after being weighed down. I'll have to wait a couple of months to remedy the weird shapes and I'll end up pruning them out of the plants.

A lesson learnt!

mercredi 5 janvier 2011

In the Bleak Midwinter

I love this haunting Christina Rossetti poem and really enjoyed singing it at school.

Whenever I see the bare tree branches and the cold winter skies behind them, I think of the title and the bare branches add to the cold, chilly winter feeling, making me shiver.

However, life would be really boring if all trees kept their leaves all of the time. Trees measure the passing seasons and their bare winter branches are part of that amazing year round process.

It also occured to me that sometimes, if we stop to look, the bare branches have a beautiful look, like the patterns they make were designed by an artist. This came to mind as I was passing by the Jardins du Luxembourg in central Paris. I really liked the crazy branch patterns that are contained in the shape and form of the trees in this avenue leading into the gardens and the watery blue winter sky behind the branches looks beautiful. No snow like in the poem, (it's been and gone and no doubt will be back) but this winter, don't forget to look up and you'll be humming the song before you know it.

mardi 4 janvier 2011

How to Dispose of your Christmas tree ecologically?

Ok, so you've chosen your natural tree.  It's nearly 12th night so you'll be thinking about taking it down (maybe this weekend when you have a moment to spare?)  Do you want to leave it in the road alongside hundreds of others waiting sadly for the dustbin men?  Or would you like to dispose of it in a meaningful way that helps the environment?

I know your answer, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this blog!

Here's some eco friendly tips for disposing of your Christmas greenery:- (not sure about the tips to make it a habitation for fish or 'modify it to make a bird feeder', but the others are good when there's goodness going back into the earth.

and here's a good link

- Some great suggestions including recycling some of the branches to make decorations to keep the house looking green and they also have a tip about using it as a habitation for squirrels and birds.  Suppose it depends on how much you want to encourage animals to set up home in your garden and if your space is large enough to dedicate such a corner.

Mainly though, it does show that with a bit of effort you don't have to make your much admired tree do the wait of shame on the pavement, you can give it a more dignified (and useful) exit from your home!