It’s been a big week for me since I up and moved to Paris for the semester. As excited as I’ve been for this, there’s been a part of me that is a little worried I’ll lose the lovely gardening habit I’ve built during the summer for lack of practice. This blog was actually made so that I would force myself to go out into this big urban city and find it’s agricultural heart.
Before I even began looking, the gardens were presented to me. As Casey, Leah and I walked through the 10th arrondissement, we passed a cute park by l’Eglise Saint Laurent that we quickly realized was a community garden!
(31 août, 2014- Leah in the garden)
For a big city, the spaces in which people were allowed to plant were quite big. I also did not see any specific rules or big signs (as I saw elsewhere) about it being part of the community. I think, this must be part of the church that belongs to the community as well but not to any few specific people by area. But the boxes were very well kept and creatively built!
(31 août, 2014- smaller beds with bright markers)
(31 août, 2014- Flourishing tomato garden)
(31 août, 2014- Long colorful spiral!)
But it wasn’t just the beds that were well decorated! The whole park was filled with wonderful art pieces, and even some bad ass feminist graffiti. From the steps around the garden, to the walls of the tool shed, the whole place felt like a wonderland rather than an inner city church garden.
(31 août, 2014 - “La conscience de homme est l’energie de l’amour qui sort de sa partie virtuelle qu’il ignore toujours. Quelquechose comme ça.”)
(31 août, 2014- “Leur realisme est un chaos, asons nos utopies, asons nos ‘Rêvolutions’” “On nous méprise tellement… et pourtant on est si precieux, si fragiles, si uniques”)
(31 août, 2014- awesome pyramid and the colorful stepping stone/wooden squares)
(31 août, 2014- Interesting tree statue made of the same wooden pieces as the steps)
(31 août, 2014- compost bins!)
The great part about this garden was how comprehensive it was. It was very clearly a learning space. The tool shed held so many different things, there were a ton of different areas, and there was a solid amount of space to walk and observe. There was a non-pictured sitting space by the shed that circled a tree where several adults were coming together. I didn’t want to bother what seemed like a meeting so I don’t know why they had gathered but it seemed like someone was teaching them. There was even a rather large compost bin (pictured above) that was split into two bins, which is a pretty large scale operation!
Later in the day, just before I was whisked away by a taxi to meet my lovely host family, the same friends and I spotted a green looking spot at the end of the block from the hotel in the south of the 11th. We decided it might be nice to sit in a park for a bit and walked over. As we got there we discovered yet another community garden. This one seemed a bit more traditional, though it was far smaller.
I met a lovely woman there who was working on her own garden there and who turned out to be american and she explained to me the whole deal with this place. It was a jardin pour le quartier, so anyone from the neighborhood could sign up for a spot, get a rather small section of space, and a key. The garden was only open when a gardener was there, but they were required to keep the door open to the public while they were around. It was a lovely place, with a large amount of seating as well for my future days (since its a quick walk away from the center I’m taking classes at) of studying or bringing a lunch from home.
Though far less colorful, it felt like a whole new type of paradise. One filled to the brim with fruits and flowers and veggies. They also had a compost bin, though it was much smaller. One of the cutest things I found was a few shoes used as pots (picture below). I’m putting money on my mom messaging me about how cute it is the second she sees it (especially after I write this)!
Well that’s about it on the gardening in Paris front. I’m going to look into whether or not theres one like the last one in my quartier!
(31 août- community garden in the 11th)
(31 août, no garden is complete without some tomatos!)
(31 août - Casey and Leah smell some lavender)
(31 août- shoe garden)