Dec 082012
 

Fondation Cartier, Paris

I only ended up going to the Fondation Cartier because my Parisian pal Esther needed to order some curtains that were on sale in a shop nearby, but I’m really glad we went. It’s a very interesting space, all steel and glass, designed by the architect Jean Nouvel. As soon as you draw near you can tell that the garden is pretty special too.

It’s designed by an artist, Lothar Baumgarten, and is inspired by the idea of a Theatrum Botanicum, an inventory of medicinal plants and herbs kept by mediaeval monks. Like mediaeval gardens it is enclosed, but by a wall of glass, so you can see it from the street. It has curved terraces and an ingenious sunken area.

It wasn’t the best time of year to visit, but the garden is home to 35 tree species and 200 native French plants, including fig trees, mint, violets and lily of the valley. It also has wildflower meadows which are quite a sight in summer.

I was pleased to see that there were none of the usual signs telling people to keep off the grass. But as I left, I spotted a sign that said ‘No picnics’…

Mar 192011
 
Victoria

I wasn’t expecting to take any pics yesterday as the weather was pretty grim, but towards the end of the day there was a beautiful sunset. I found these pleached pear trees – several rows of them – in the gardens opposite some swanky flats in Victoria.

And guess what? Beneath them was a lush lawn – and a sign saying ‘Keep off the grass’. Oh dear. Looks like the theory in my previous posting was not 100% correct. The sign did say it was private property, though.

I walked on the grass to take this pic.