Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Gardens I still need to see in Paris

It was late June 2012 and raining hard.  We weren't all that far into the Bois de Boulogne in Paris.  My friend from childhood, Linda Jackson "Charley" Carter  and I had just exited a wonderful small museum she had found out about.  Our plan was to head to the Parc de Bagatelle, a beautiful garden known for its iris and roses, on the far side of the Bois.

The problem was, as good as the Metro system is in Paris, there was no easy route to where we wanted to go.  Also, as much as I wanted to see and photograph the garden, the circumstances were far from ideal.  Also, if we tried to walk the distance - possible,  but a stretch on even the prettiest day - we wouldn't have much time before we had to figure out how to get all the way back to the Ile St. Louis to meet my daughter at our apartment.

So, another visit to Paris, and I didn't get to see the Bagatelle.  I had actually been there when I was 22, but I wasn't paying attention to gardens at that age.

On our last night in Paris, we had dinner with my longtime friends Carol and Luc Tessier.  Carol has a garden jam-packed with wonderful perennials, shrubs, vines and trees.  She offered to send me photographs of the Bagatelle she had taken at peak iris and rose time (shown above).

My friend Charley already has an apartment reserved for next May to celebrate her daughter's 40th birthday.  It will be a while, I'm sure, before I get back to Paris.  Next time, the first item on my agenda will be a visit to the Bagatelle.

The events of last Friday are still fresh on my mind.  I could go to Paris every year for the rest of my life and not get to see everything on my list.  Things seem so dark and gloomy right now given what happened,  but I feel sure the sidewalk cafes will be packed again on beautiful evenings, the lights from the historic buildings will shimmer on the Seine as the bateaux mouches glide along and its many gardens will bloom again, as they have for hundreds of years.


  1. i would love to take my daughter to Paris and have the time to really see it in all it's glory. How does your friend, Charley, go about renting an apartment?

  2. The name of the company for the Ile St. Louis apartments is Guest Apartments. They have special seats reserved for the chamber music concerts in Ste. Chapelle. I need to find out from my friend who she is using next summer. She's rented from other firms, as well. She'll know the name of the apartment we had. Ironically, it is less expensive than the house I rent at Pawleys Island, S.C. The best time for roses, peonies, iris, etc., is early June. Giverny is always crowded, but the roses, clematis, alliums and iris are worth it. Ditto the Jardin des Plantes (an easy walk from the Ile St. Louis). And, no doubt the Parc de Bagatelle!

  3. Late May is also good for the above flowers. I think that's when I took my daughters to Paris and Normandy. That time we rented an apartment in the Marais from Paris Attitude. The Ile St. Louis was so special, though.

  4. Thank you for that info, Martha. It gives me a place to start. I don't want to pay a small fortune but would like a special place to lay our tired but happy heads at night. Still in the planning stage.....

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  6. Ahhh Paris...There is always something to go back and see. Thank you for bringing this garden to my attention. My last visit was early May with my sister and niece. It was a rainy weekend and I felt bad since it was their first visit. The views from the apartment you stayed at are wonderful. Such special memories Martha.