My first visit to Paris was the fall of 2000. I took my daughter there to celebrate her 21st birthday and our visit was perfect. Each day we walked for miles and miles taking in all that is Paris. The colors were vibrant and the air crisp.
Taking the train to the countryside brought even more wonders of autumn. Chartres, Versailles and Bruges were ablaze with even more reds, oranges and browns. Walking through parks and peeping into courtyards, we could see many plant varieties that are common to most areas of the U.S.
France’s positioning, much like that of New England, is perfect for experiencing the colors of fall foliage. The most popular flowering shrubs and trees, along with some of their favorite smaller growing evergreen plants, used in French gardens are listed here.
- Red Barberry
- Tulip poplar
- Rosa rugosas
- Narrow evergreens – such as juniper skyrocket and thuja north pole
- Ornamental grasses – new varieties in smaller sizes
Herbs were everywhere, planted in landscapes, huge pots in the courtyards, window boxes. Most days we could see apartment windows open. I would stop and take in the air imagining how wonderful it must be with slight breezes brushing over the thyme, rosemary and mint carrying the fragrances throughout the living spaces.
It is ironic that we travel to exotic destinations for new experiences and scenery, but, once there, we find certain familiarity which is probably what most of us enjoy most. Whether you are in Paris or Nashville, autumn is in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere. Time to plant, time to enjoy!