Hidden Gardens of Paris

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

In the depths of the cold winter, do you pull out your gardening catalogs and plan? Do you brave the brisk winds to head to the mailbox, to pull in colorful seed catalogs? Additionally, do you worry about your gardens, when you travel? Enlist the help of neighbors for watering and caring for your gardens? Try to plan travel around your gardens?

I've got the book for you. It's a perfect antidode for the below zero temperatures, and a beautiful planning guide to a green summer in Paris.

Hidden Gardens of Paris: A Guide to the Parks, Squares, and Woodlands of the City of Light is a book for all seasons - but especially, a guide to dreaming of Paris in the cold winter, when we need dreams of warmth and travel. It is written by Susan Cahill, who spends a few months in Paris each year, and who also penned A Literary Guide to Ireland, among other books. The photographs are beautiful and inspiring, taken by native Parisienne photographer Marion Ranoux.

It's a gem - not only for warm weather travel, but for planning. For what is better when it's cold outside, than to dream, to plan, to think of chocolate and baguettes, a little cheese, and a Paris garden?

Hidden Gardens of Paris

This book contains beautiful descriptions - and gorgeous color photos - of a plethora of outdoor places in Paris. If you're like me, being in a city wears on you and you need a bit of green each day to thrive. This book can deliver that to you, no matter where you are staying.

The chapters cover Ile de la Cite, the Left Bank, and the Right Bank. It goes from the Latin Quarter to the Marais, and everything in between. There's a map in the front, that pinpoints where each garden is, in the big picture. You'll need an additional map (or your smartphone) to get there directly.

For while some gardens are very large (Luxembourg, Tuileries), some are tiny - and indeed, hidden. You'd not find them unless you had a guide. Consider this a friendly neighbor to the green areas of Paris, telling you the secrets that locals know.  Each green space is beautifully introduced, with some history and local color. There's also a part for nearby places, hotels, activities, restaurants, and more gardens.

I love learning the history of each green space, and how it fits into the neighborhood - and Paris. I know that one of the joys of Paris is the open spaces - and public gardens. You'll not only learn history (and literature), but cultural references. The Square Recamier is named after Juliette Recamier, who held famous literary salons. And Chateaubriand's adoration of her is one you feel reflected in the garden itself - "In looking at your divine beauty one feels transported, and it robs death of its shadows of gloom."

This book, besides inspiring travel, allows you to dream of warm summer days in Paris, soaking it all in. Bet you'll start checking your mailbox for more than garden catalogs.




Note: We received a review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press. Thank you!