a landscape lover's blog

garden tales from a Brit abroad

Springtime parks in Paris

Here’s a couple of slightly off-the-beaten-track places to enjoy Paris in the springtime.

First, the Square des Batignolles, which was one of twenty-four gardens created in the mid-1800s as part of the modernisation of Paris by Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann. It is a park à l’anglaise (that is, laid out naturalistically) with undulating lawns and a fine array of old trees, including four of the biggest plane trees in the city. The planting is generally slightly unusual for a public park – walnuts, elms, a twisted willow, purple beech, Turkish hazels, a hardy bitter orange, and a giant sequoia.Ducks among the daffs

With its rustic concrete bridges, grottoes, cascades, false rocks and meandering waterways, the whole thing has a delightful nineteenth century feel. The flower beds are maintained in the same spirit, particularly so in spring, when the city parks department plants out tulips and massed spring bedding.

The park also boasts a rather lovely round glasshouse installed in the 1990s, hundreds of ducks of a variety of breeds, flocks of chaffinches with their distinctive song, and a range of activities for kids, including a carousel, pony and trap rides, and two very popular playgrounds.

In these photos you can see the park as it was planted a couple of years ago. I was there again yesterday (in a major downpour) and the flowerbeds this spring are a mass of yellow tulips among purple bedding.

Square des Batignolles is rather hidden away in the 17th arrondissement, near Porte de Clichy, and not very easy to reach on public transport, so it tends not to be on the typical tourist trail. As an added attraction to visit, all this week until Sunday (3 April) there is a brocante (a vintage market) immediately outside the park in Place du Docteurs Félix-Lobligeois, with a tempting range of furniture, linen, china and jewellery for sale. Also in the neighbourhood, every Saturday morning, is a wonderful organic market, with bio-dynamically grown vegetables and fruit, cheeses, breads, fresh fish, herbs, cut flowers and home-made produce.

Batignolles brocante, Paris I’ll post the second suggestion for a springtime park tomorrow.

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10 comments on “Springtime parks in Paris

  1. Garden Walk Garden Talk
    March 28, 2011

    This was a lovely tour. Gorgeous gardens. I especially liked the pond surrounded by daffodils and filled with ducks.

  2. Carolflowerhillfarm
    March 28, 2011

    Lovely! Gorgeous trees. How great to have such a market!! Sounds like a great neighborhood.

  3. p3chandan
    March 28, 2011

    Lovely scenic beauty of the lake, the trees and the daffodils and the blue flowers!

  4. Pingback: Springtime parks in Paris II « Landscape Lover's Blog

  5. Jean
    March 29, 2011

    This brought back memories of the last time I was in Paris, in April of 2003. I left Maine with snow still on the ground in my garden and arrived in a Paris with warm, mild temperatures and flowering trees and bulbs everywhere. Sigh… It is about 10-20 degrees (F) below normal here (-6C when I left for work this morning!), and I’m sick of winter. I wonder if I can get a flight to Paris tonight….

  6. Another wonderful sounding place I would like to go, especially to shop at the organic market. In the top photo, it looks like the muscari (?) and tulips are edged with some kind of basket material.

    • landscapelover
      March 29, 2011

      The organic market is a real treat.
      See my comment below about the basket edging – and I think the purple flowers might be pansies rather than muscari, although it’s difficult to tell from this photo.

  7. Garden Sense
    March 29, 2011

    Beautiful! The “basket” edging around the blooms in the top right photo is a nice detail.

    • landscapelover
      March 29, 2011

      Thanks – yes the “basket” edging is woven willow, which is fairly unusual as a feature in public parks I think, but the beds are so packed with bedded-out plants that something is needed to keep them all upright.

  8. Lula (onbotanicalphotography.blogspot.com)
    April 4, 2011

    Ah Paris! Curious, in Brussels some parks are lately using same woven wilow for edges, find it elegant, materials and colors blend well and the whole works. Like it. Lula

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This entry was posted on March 27, 2011 by in Paris, Parks and tagged , , , .

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