Thursday, 28 July 2011

Paris: Lots of Paris parks

A few years ago a group of us went on holiday to Paris 6 out of 7 of us were landscape architects so it ended up being a bit of a busman's holiday. Dan was the only non landscape architect and made it very clear that this month in Paris wasn't going to be spent trailing around multiple parks and taking photos of lovely drains and tree guards! I did however manage to get him to a few parks that were off the beaten track

Parc des Buttes Chaumont

Situated in the 19th this park is absolutely brilliant. The park was created in the 1860's on the site of an old 

quarry in the 'rough' end of Paris, it's a great example of what can be done to rehabilitate land.

 The park is eccentric and fanciful, a complete contrast to the symmetrical formality of a lot of Parisian city parks. There are plenty of places to explore including a 2 hectare lake which surrounds a great rocky peak topped with a temple, man made caves, rocky streams, vast waterfalls and a suspension bridge.   

It felt relaxed and spirited with people picnicking and enjoying the grass - no 'pelouse interdit' signs to be seen! 

The lake and  "Temple of Sybille"

Views towards Monmartre 

Jardin des Plantes

Jardin des Plantes is Paris's main botanical gardens and another of my favourite parks. The plants are laid out in a vast labelled horticultural display and there is also a mini zoo, ecological garden and a number of hothouses and galleries.

The signage and furniture is beautiful and you can get a damn fine cup of mint tea and sweet treat in the Paris Mosque across the road

In the alpine garden with Sasha and Tim

Jardin Atlantique

Jardin Atlantique is on top of Montparnasse train station in the south of Paris, the garden was named after the trains which rumble below the garden in the direction of the Atlantic Coast.

The garden is technically fascinating as there it's all built on a suspended slab with the trees being planted directly above the structural pillars. The garden also has to allow ventilation and light into the space below which creates lots of interesting design features.

Although a little tired around the edges this roof garden is a lush and relaxing escape from the urban play which surrounds Montparnasse station. There is lots to explore with a number of themed garden rooms, water features and planted spaces as well as open lawned areas. 

Promenade Plantee

A precursor to the fantastic High Line, the promenade plantee traverses Paris 10m above the bustling streets below giving a tranquil perspective on Paris life. 

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