vendredi 3 février 2012

Un Jardin Imaginaire

I love independent florists and luckily I live in a country where flowers are a big part of the culture - giving for the usual occasions like Birthdays, to your lover, your Mum but also, I've been surprised at the amount of flower giving at weddings.  No traditional wedding group photo is complete without numerous baskets of cellophane wrapped arrangements at the feet of the guests sitting at the front of the photo.  Sometimes the baskets make a star showing in individual photos of the bride and groom where the floral tributes are tastefully arranged around them.  I was married in the Town Hall and my sister and brother in law who couldn't be there sent a lovely floral tribute for us.  I was so unsued to receiving flowers on my wedding day that we forgot about it and left it in the Mairie after the ceremony, so it missed out on the photos!

There is also the traditional Sunday lunch at your parents where you really must show up with some flowers in your hand.  The flower shops always have a huge queue on Sunday mornings.

Then there's the Fête du Travail on the 1st of May where nobody works and everybody gives lily of the valley posies to each other.  One often finds a multitude of sellers  camped out on the high street on the 1st May offering their variations on bouquets of this pretty, frangrant, delicate flower.

On 1st November, it's Toussaint and the dearly loved and departed are remembered with floral tributes on their graves, mostly crysanthanums.  Note to strangers to France NEVER bring a bunch of cyrsanthanums for the hostess at a dinner party, or any other occasion - it is very bad luck with its connotations to 1st November.

At funerals, it's still very common to offer floral tributes and a funeral without flowers might be seen as a funeral for a person who was not loved and appreciated by their family, friends and the community.  When a French family member of ours died, his wife counted the tributes, read the accompanying cards many many times and found great comfort that they were so numerous, it was a sign for her that her husband was loved and respected.  It would not be normal to request donations to a charity for example, as so often happens in UK.

Even at Christmas, when children and their family arrive at their parents for the traditional meal on 24th December, it is not unusual to bring floral arrangements on a Christmas theme.  There are some very imaginative arrangements even in the smallest flower shops using candles, sparkles and all sorts of decorations alongside plants or flowers for this occasion.

I say all this to introduce a very cute independent flower shop that I came across right in the heart of the 2nd arr.  It's called 'un jardin imaginaire' and it's in the 2nd arr just off rue du 4 septembre.

There are fewer and fewer independent shops left in France with the big guys moving in like Monceau Flowers, Happy and au nom de la rose - none of which are to be criticised - but I like independent enterprises and support them whenever I can.

So here's some pics of un jardin imaginaire and if you're looking for flowers in 2nd then, do visit - the prices are more than fair and the owner is very charming and does not look down his nose at the smallest budget.  His shop is like a cornucopia of little charming touches, ornaments, objects from times past.  Très charmant!

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