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Flora, Fauna and Follies…a Roundelay of Gardens in Paris

Parc Florale Paris

 

Parc Florale Paris

Flora: Beautiful Giant, Giant, Giant Rhododendrums are hiding in the Parc Floral, a contemporary-designed showcase park, in eastern Paris in the Bois Vincennes opposite the Chateau Vincennes…. Photomontage of many big plants above!

Parc Florale

The combination of the Rhododendrums and tall white Pines impress!

Parc Florale Paris

Especially on the dreary rainy day in May that I visited and was surprised by the gorgeous Rhododendrums….There is always something in bloom in gardens, contrasting gardens that just bloomed or are about to bloom !
Parc Florale Paris

Above shows the “in between” plantings time from April’s blooms to June’s blooms….The park hosts fantastic events and concerts in the summer here…..Motto for May: Don’t leave home without your umbrella/parapluie!

Parc Florale Paris Watercolor by Lois Bender

When you’re so excited about color, it’s hard to remember to leave white space….. here’s a first wet into wet layer that dried; then, I added the accents of bright color.  Wet into Wet on a larger scale is just bigger “Charging in color” and tilting the paper to control the runny pools of watery paint!   Charge!

Parc Florale Paris Watercolor by Lois Bender

Here’s more white space! A Good Rule: Stop when you think your watercolor is “unfinished!” because the white space reads as light, connecting the form and color! I forget that the unfinished quality has this strong power of suggestion.

Parc Florale

You can get lost looking at all the Rhododendrums, but the fun signage points the way….

Photo-Parc-Montsouris-9715s

and now for the Fauna! in the next Garden to the south…Parc Montsouris, a 14th arrondissement urban park in the “landscape style” innovated by the 19th c. Alphonse Alphand under Baron Haussmann’s direction in 1878, is done in a grand “man-made” style with sloping lawns, majestic trees, circular flowerbeds and allées with landscaped scenic vistas, custom-designed for promenading by nature-craving industrial age city-dwellers — a style subsequently imitated worldwide….(Central Park?)

Parc Monsouris in Paris

This watercolor vignette of a meandering park corner gives the woodsy bucolic tranquility on another!… rainy day in the park….Then I wandered upon the lake where under some small dwarf pines, to my surprise,

Photo-Parc-Montsouris-2 Black Swans

I found my very own “Black Swan Lake,” home to many wildlife birds, including 2 Blacks Swans and their 2 baby swan(lings?)s! Never seeing black swans before, and seeing they really exist, was startling to me….

Parc Montsouris

An actual real contrast to our very own East Hampton pair of swans in the pond by Guild Hall….Perhaps the swans can do an exchange program for a year so we can see black swans in East Hampton for a year….And speaking of Fauna, did you know…?

Kangaroos at the Jardin des Plantes

that Paris has its very own Kangaroos residing at the Jardin de Plantes’ Zoo (Paris’ Botanical Garden and Zoo) …..YES, Quelle revelation!

Jardin-des-Plantes

This 18th c. Garden, founded in the Age of Enlightenment by France’s great Men of Science, has great educational programming in all “Flora and Fauna” as I learned! while searching for the “Rosarie” Garden

Jardin-des-Plants-WC-Bender

in front of the great 18th c. architecture…..before another round of rain, “La Pluie”…..

Jardin-des-Plants-WC-Bender

…. now time to run into a “McDo,” MacDonald’s for “un café and wifi”…. before I face the “Follies”

Jardin du Albert Kahn

On another day (note finally the sun!) I followed Frenchman Pierre’s (of Pierre’s Restaurant in Bridgehampton) advice not to miss the Musée et Jardin du Albert Kahn, a place paying tribute to the 19-20th c. outstanding businessman-diplomat who believed in world peace through understanding the world cultures. Both Pierre….and Kahn….are right!  The Musée’s 5 Gardens represent different world cultures, of which the Japanese Garden is truly an amazing example of landscape design in the eccentric design genre or “Follies,” using surprises of textures, constructions, shapes, layerings, color and materials like Bonsai miniature trees on platforms standing in the ponds, conical pyramids in stone, tricks of scale and size, sharp color contrasts…. There’s an imported Tea House and Village…. It’s just eye candy everywhere you turn!…..

Albert-Kahn-8397s

Textures bombarding you in unusual designs…. See the “Dot Motif” in the Pines and stones….
New England stone walls were never like this….

Albert-Kahn-8427s

The repetitions of  the Cone shape in topiary-shaped plants…. yet not at all like French Formal Design, Bien Sur!

Jardin du Albert-Kahn

And the reflections in the pool were incredible…. so many great photos I couldn’t put into this blog….Jardin du Albert-Kahn

I got so involved in “noodling” the details of this watercolor! The intensity of the yellows & blues captivated me….

Jardin du Albert-Kahn Watercolor by Lois Bender

Red leaves of the Japanese Trees in Spring add range and variety to a non-autumnal garden! I just kept widening my eyes and dropping my jaw at seeing so much invention, conception and innovation in”artifice and style” here in the layerings of shapes of colors!

Photo-Parc-Monceau

But French Gardens have their own conceptual “Follies” style of exotic themes, a garden style originating in the 1700s. I leave you here at Parc Monceau in the northern “quartier” of Paris which has its very own Metro Monceau to continue the Garden Tour next blog with Parc Monceau (with exotic, fanciful, romantic and picturesque jardins a la mode). In this “Painting the Gardens of Paris” tour, time for an Intermission, D’accord, “ok?” ….Mais, oui!!…… I leave CAMAC, Marnay-sur-Seine, tomorrow for Paris for a few days before returning to NY. So many Gardens, so little time, ….but time to take a breath for a relaxing end to the tour!

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