We'd noticed posters all over town promoting this "expo", so before heading to one of the private gardens, we stopped by to check it out.
There were "delphiniums blue..."
There were wheelbarrows planted with sample arrangements for your garden...
Gloriously bright orange opium poppies were so vivid they almost hurt your eyes...
...and I loved the way these South African proteas were displayed against a mirror in individual little pots, doubling themselves in all directions.
Mickey Mouse was on hand, all decked out in ivy and carnations, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Disney World here in France...
...but these youngsters were more interested in learning how to pot a plant to take home with them.
Meanwhile at this stand, dozens of identical shoes were all planted with miniature cacti. We couldn't decide if it was a fashion statement or an innovative way of recycling uncomfortable footwear! In either case, it made for a great display.
Our next stop, over on the rue Babylone in the 7th arrondissement, was at l'Hotel de Matignon, which is not a hotel and never has been a hotel. The word simply means a "home", ie a private residence. Named for Jacques IV de Matignon and built in the early 18th century, the original gardens were designed by Claude Descots, nephew of the celebrated André le Nôtre who was Louis XIV's principal gardener (think Versailles for starters!).
The present owner is the Government of France. L'Hotel de Matignon has been the formal residence of French Prime Ministers since 1935, used for official business. We had to go through metal detectors at the gate, staffed by half a dozen gendarmes. Needless to say, my hip and knee set off the bells and whistles and I had to explain that I had "une hanche de titanium et un genoux de cobalt chrome." They were suitably impressed and waved me in!
A classic 18th century feature of parkland gardens is the "allée de tilleuls". This one did not disappoint: a stunning pleached lime allée, with its careful planting and clipping to create a false sense of perspective, it stands at the opposite end of the gardens from the house, providing a stunning point of view from either end.
And with this post, dear readers, I must sadly close the blog for this year. We leave Paris in under ten days! Where did the time go? In a final flurry of activity we're still managing to take in some last minute fun events...
...a dear friend, author Belinda Cannone, had a well attended book reading for her latest work at le Bibliotèque de Clichy...
repeat the same basic composition again and again, varying color, scale and arrangements of objects and models, and technique, before being satisfied with the result. It was a stunning exhibition.
Some of us (ie moi!) enjoyed watching the Diamond Jubilee celebrations on television, despite the soggy nature of that crazy English climate. God Save the Queen!
And we just had a lovely visit from the London Robbins, who came over for a few days to say goodbye.
So, a fond adieu to all, a big thank you for following our exploits, for the emails and for the comments. The blog returns January 2013!