If you're like me you're first reaction to "Hidden Gardens of Paris" might be to scratch your head and wonder how could anything be hidden in Paris? I mean, come on . . .
But because I'm curious about all things Parisian, I picked up Susan Cahill's book.
"Hidden Gardens of Paris - A Guide to the Parks, Squares, and Woodlands of the City of Light" is a delight.
And while I'm sure you've all heard of Luxembourg Gardens
|Photo by Don Barley|
and Tuileries Garden ,
|photo by Don Barley|
Susan Cahill shares 40 of these quiet green havens with us, all broken down by areas and highlighted with a map. A small sampling seeing as how there are, I believe, over 400 of these green spaces.
"Hidden Gardens of Paris," all on its own, makes a unique travel guide for planning your days of walking through Paris, knowing there are spots to stop, rest, breathe and think about the fact that you're actually in Paris. And instead of hearing the Paris traffic, you're hearing birds sing and you're smelling - really smelling - the flowers.
Marion Ranoux's photographs coupled with Ms. Cahill's stories and brief bits of history about the gardens makes this a perfect little jewel of a book to sit down with if you're planning a trip to Paris, or simply dreaming of one.
Bertrand Delanoë, former Mayor of Paris (2001-2014) added over 100 new acres to its existing 400 green spaces.
"Present mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, was elected in 2014 with the intention to improve the city's green spaces as a part of her platform. CNN reports that Hidalgo has made good on her initiatives, and both private and public enterprises have risen to the challenge of making Paris rich in biodiversity as well as cultural capital. In 2016, her administration launched Parisculteurs, a campaign that is working to cover 247 acres of rooftops and walls in Paris with greenery by 2020."
From "Hidden Gardens of Paris" - "The best way to get to know Paris is to walk. . . . You come to understand what those who do not move beyond the posh city center cannot: Paris is ordinary, scruffy, individualistic, bizarre, broken, endlessly inventive, secretive, tender, haunted with history, generous with pretty squares away from the boulevards. . . . Coming to feel at home in the outdoors of this living, breathing city - getting to know the hidden gardens of Paris - you'll find there are many ways to smell the roses, the sweetness of the world you've walked your way into, beautiful in the vastness of memory."