The Most Beautiful Flowers of Paris
Being an ex-florist and flower addict means I can’t help picking all the most beautiful flowers in Paris ... even if it sometimes gets me into trouble!
Diary of a flower addict
When I first moved to Paris, I had no idea it was illegal to pick even a single bloom in parks or on roadsides. I've been scolded by locals and even police yet still continue to cheekily pluck the odd flower when I think no-one's looking!
During my 20 years in Byron Bay, I used to keep a pair of secateurs (cutters) in my car so that whenever I spotted some irresistible roadside blooms, I could easily pull over and snip a few armfuls for myself.
My floral Parisian life
One of the attractions for me about Paris is the sheer beauty encapsulated in French flowers. The entire city is adorned in blooms - in huge swathes throughout parks and gardens, spilling from jardinieres in every apartment window, by the bucket load in markets, in elegant arrangements in boutique windows, and bursting forth from flower shops.
My favourite blooms to take home from markets and florists for little vignettes are tulips, roses and poppies so I can watch them open from bud to full bloom.
Upon moving into my first Parisian apartment - a tiny 20 square metres - the first thing I did was visit my local fleuriste and buy a delicate phaelenopsis orchid potted plant to brighten my winter days. It lasted months, right up until springtime.
Why do flowers captivate us?
Flowers are eternally captivating to us because they feed our desire to be seduced. We are first and foremost enthralled by the eyes, then our sense of touch and smell.
When I see flowers, I experience an emotional and physical response. I can be just as lost in a single bloom as I can in a room full of blooms.
A $2,000 floral seduction
While working as a florist in Byron Bay, a gentleman who had recently bought a holiday cottage in town ordered enough roses to fill the entire abode, as a surprise for his wife when she arrived to stay for the first time.
We set up vase after vase of luscious, colourful roses and scattered fresh petals throughout. I imagine the delight she must have felt, turning the key and walking in to see a couple of thousand dollars worth of decadence and delight before her eyes.
French flowers v. Australian flowers
French flowers are :
- lush and soft
- feminine and intimate
- sometimes loosely gathered together as if straight from a garden …
- or arranged into structured, extravagant designs like those of Jeff Leatham