Friday, August 26, 2011

Parisians Get a Rise...

Sometimes--nay, many times--these things are beyond the control (particularly of the male species).

Sometimes we are just excited by certain things.

No matter the strength of our will, we, well, respond.


We respond. We get excited. And many, perhaps all, languages have engendered many a euphemism and slang to describe this excitable reaction.

So excited that we attribute a certain urgency to our actions. 

So imagine me, running around Paris, madly taking photos not of the Arc de Triumph or the Eiffel Tower (though there are those, of course), but of that which clearly gives Parisians and me a rise: balcony gardens.

Yes: Parisians have most assuredly taken gardening to new heights.

There were, of course, the de rigueur balcony gardens of potted geraniums: the ubiquitous Parisian flower, the Parisian's passport into gardening.

But there were also most astonishing, unexpected displays.

Some were quite exuberant in their vision: a Juliet balcony transformed into a full scale garden, even if the apparitional effect is crowded and overgrown.

Some were festooned with trees, like this Japanese Maple,

or this palm tree.

Others used bamboo as shields from the outside world, a botanical veil to enclose and protect.

Some employed the space to functional effect, as with these oranges (or tangerines?),

while others deployed functionality as a cooling mechanism, as with this "Green Wall."

Some framed their frames from which they view the Parisian world beyond,

while others color-coordinated their window box displays with their window shades.

That was the preeminent expression of French--or at least Parisian--fashion sensibility, and boy, did it give me a rise!


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