Among the first of the Spring flowers – the Crocus.
From the Greek word ‘krokos’ meaning the colour ‘saffron’ or ‘saffron yellow’.
The spice, Saffron, comes from the stigma of a Crocus flower.
“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest.
–Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
Ernest Hemingway is right! Spring is the only season of the year where I am happiest! Something in those dainty and delicate tulips make my heart sing and I just can’t get enough of them.
But as Spring doesn’t last long – it disappears quickly just as it comes so suddenly – I need to luxuriate in more of its floral pleasures and where else to start but at my favorite park and probably the most beautiful park in Paris, Jardin du Luxembourg!
“A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone.” – Marianne Williamson
Am I in Eden?
No, I’m still in the city…of Paris!
At Jardin du Luxembourg, you don’t only go there to enjoy the flowers, there are also a lot of interesting statues to discover!
This is the bronze smaller version of the Statue of Liberty which was used by Auguste Bartholdi to serve as model for the bigger one that was shipped to New York.
The Oak tree next to it was planted in 2002 by the American Community living in France as a memorial to the victims of 9/11.
The inscription on the plaque next to the statue says:
Freedom lighting the world
At the occasion of the 1900 Universal Exposition, the sculptor Auguste Bartholdi offered to the Museum de Luxembourg the bronze model which served to realized the statue of Liberty in New York. This statue has been placed in 1906 in the garden.
Auguste Bartholdi, 1889
A bed of fuschia-coloured tulips makes a delightful floral stage for La Faune Dansant (the Dancing Faun). This sculpture of a virile boy playing a flute and dancing on a sack of wine was inspired by a statue unearthed in Pompei and since put on display at the Museum of Naples in Italy.
– by Eugène Louis Lequesne, 1850
The statue is shown rehearsing his lines from a parchment. A mask drawn over his head signifies that he is an actor.
– by Charles-Arthur Bourgeois, 1868
These white tulips and blue miniature flowers make a truly romantic setting for the wedding couple in the mid-ground.
A lovely palette of colours frame this bust of Frederic Chopin.
Sculpted by Boleslaw Syrewicz, it is a gift of Poland to France, replacing the original bust made by George Dubois in 1900 which was removed during the Nazi occupation of Paris. This newer version was inaugurated in 1999.
A lot of matured and unique trees also inhabit the gardens!
But alas! I came across this group of gardeners who were pulling out the tulips. Might it be too soon to remove them, Messieurs? I know you want to replace them with summery blooms but look, they are still looking great….
Hmmmm… I could only scream in silence watching them uproot the reason of my happiness (see Ernest Hemingway’s quote at the beginning of this post).
Could Spring be going that soon?
Oh well, I’m glad I came just at the right day! If I came a day later, this post won’t have any photos of tulips!
And to say it again, “I’m glad I came at the right day!” Because I actually asked the same gardeners if I can take home even one of the uprooted plants and they gladly said “oui!”
And so, this pink flowered plant has ended in my garden…. and it’s still blooming strong after nearly a week since I transplanted it in my yard!
o – o – o – o
“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever.”
– Alfred Tennyson
Related Post: The French Senate at the Palais du Luxembourg
Weeping willow with your tears running down, why do you always weep and frown? Is it because he left you one day? Is it because he could not stay? On your branches he would swing. Do you long for the happiness that day would bring? He found shelter in your shade. You thought his laughter would never fade. weeping willow, stop your tears, for there is something to calm your fears. You think death has ripped you forever apart, but I know he’ll always be in your heart. (unknown author)
By perseverance the snail reached the ark.
– Charles Spurgeon
= = =
What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.” ? Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay
It has been a very long Winter in Europe and I was beginning to yearn for Spring flowers like crazy. We were in Hungary for two weeks in March/April and saw some crocuses and daffodils peeking out a bit but the on and off snowfall just froze them away, cutting short my floral excitement. So that as soon as I stumble into one or two floral display, I would photograph them right away lest they get snowed over again the next day if not drenched away by the rain. Each day, I would religiously go out of the house in search for flowers even taking long hill walks just to find them.
Here is my Spring flower diary:
April 5 ….Trieste, Italy
Stopped in Trieste just for a quick tour not realizing that we will be forced to stay for four days due to the van breaking down again for the Nth time! This town bordering Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea has a lot of beautiful sights to offer including this Magnolia blooms in a park.
Flowers for sale along the Canale Grande.
April 07… Trieste, Italy
We went to visit the Miremare Castle grounds and my attention was always focused on the gardens searching for blooms. Unfortunately, the pots were still empty at that time, save for some succulents.
April 10 ….Fontan, France
A quick walk along the allotment grounds behind our village and saw this bright yellow Forsythia tree creating a wonderful contrast against the blue sky.
April 11…. Breil sur Roya, France
The new leaves of the Weeping Willow tree make a lovely natural curtain along the river Roya in Breil.
April 13 – Latte, Italy
Have been missing the sight of the sea – the Mediterranean Sea – so we went to Latte in Italy. This is the view from a private hilltop terrace (we did not know that it is ‘Private’ and we didn’t realize we were trespassing, luckily the owners were not home.
April 16…Breil sur Roya, France
Went driving up the hill to visit the Chapelle Notre Dame du Mont des Oliviers (Chapel of Our Lady of Mount of Olives), so named because it is surrounded by hundred year old olive trees.
April 19 – Olivetta St Michele, Italy
The beauty of our place is, it is surrounded by beautiful villages of both France and Italy. This one is St Michele, just 20 minutes from home. That’s a young cherry blossom tree on the bottom right.
April 23……Aix en Provence, France
We had to stop in Aix in search for a garage when the van was leaking copious amounts of oil again! It was actually a two-day stopover, a forced holiday, so while waiting for the van to get fixed, we went around sightseeing. This wisteria tree almost blew me away!
South of France, Alpes-Maritimes
After a very long winter that lasted till the first week of April, Spring has finally arrived and with it, the explosion of colourful flowers that puts me on a poetic mood again!
Through these flowers, come join me in my exaltation of the most beautiful season of the year – Spring!
“To analyze the charms of flowers is like dissecting music; it is one of those things which it is far better to enjoy, than to attempt to fully understand.”
– Henry T. Tuckerman
“Flowers construct the most charming geometries: circles like the sun, ovals, cones, curlicues and a variety of triangular eccentricities, which when viewed with the eye of a magnifying glass seem a Lilliputian frieze of psychedelic silhouettes.”
– Duane Michals, The Vanishing Act
“In the cherry blossom’s shade there’s no such thing as a stranger.”
“Forsythia is pure joy. There is not an ounce, not a glimmer of sadness or even knowledge in forsythia. Pure, undiluted, untouched joy.”
– Anne Morrow Lindbergh
“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.
– Claude Monet
“Different flowers look good to different people. Pick the flower when it is ready to be picked. The flower that you spent time to care for does not grow while the willow that you accidentally planted flourishes and gives shade.”
– Chinese Proverbs
A cherry tree
And there are no flowers,
But the spring breeze
Brings forth myriad blossoms.”
– Ikkyu Sojun, 1394-1481
“Let us open our leaves like a flower, and be passive and receptive.”
– John Keats