Excuse me while I put my pina colada down: blogging from a tropical paradise, the Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil!


Technically, I wasn't really drinking a pina colada and I also wasn't blogging from a tropical paradise because I was wrong about the wireless internet access, but I did lug my laptop to the Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil,  the main botanical garden in Paris with a large complex of greenhouses, in the hopes of working in this steamy environment. I even wore a short sleeve t-shirt! Had I been thinking, I would have checked out the official interactive map that indicates the 400 locations, including many parks and municipal spaces, where you can access the internet for free before setting off this morning.

Nope, no wireless connection here. Next time I'll bring a book and a pina colada!

But enough about the liberties that I've taken with the truth in the title of this post. The lush palm trees, vibrant red, pink and yellow hibiscus flowers and feathery ficus trees reminded me of the days when we lived in the tropics and delicate hummingbirds paid daily visits to the flowers outside the kitchen window.

Jardin des Poètes
If you need a tropical break from the grey skies that have been plaguing Paris for the past days, take metro line 10 to the station, Porte d'Auteuil, and pass through the charming Jardin des Poètes (Poet's Garden). As you meander along the path, it's pleasant to read the numerous plaques with excerpts written by famous French authors including Victor Hugo, Paul Valery and Charles Baudelaire, but don't  let them detract you from your goal, the greenhouses that house more than 5,000 varieties of plants.


The garden, which was originally created by Louis XV, is an oasis of peace and tranquility -- but hurry if you would like to visit. Located next to Roland Garros Stadium, home of the French Open, the French Tennis Federation has received approval to "expand to include part of the Auteuil Greenhouses Garden and feature a new 5,000-seater court which spectators will be able to reach via a walk through the gardens." Click here to read the 5 year expansion plans outlined on the Roland Garros website and to read a CNN article about the controversy caused by this decision.

Tips: please note that some of the doors of the greenhouses are hard to open. If you're there during opening hours, just turn the handle and give it an extra hard tug. The front door on the left of the main greenhouse was locked, but the one on the right was open. Even though part of the main greenhouse is  currently closed for renovations, it didn't detract from my visit.

Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil
3 Avenue de la Porte d’Auteuil
75016 Paris

Metro: Porte d'Auteuil

Open 7 days a week. Winter hours: 10:00am – 5:00pm; Summer hours: 10:00am – 6:00pm. Entrance is free.

Put on your flip-flops and sunglasses and join me for a photo tour. Click on any of the pictures that you would like to enlarge.








Comments

  1. This must be one of the city's secrets because it looks like you have the place all to yourself! How lovely.

    I will absolutely check this out when I get back!

    What a perfect post to read on a cold winter day.

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    1. Oops! I forgot that I wasn't supposed to tell the hip people who live in the Marais about this spot!

      I did have it to myself - to the point that I got kind of surprised/scared when I was peering through some plants and noticed a man on the other side. I think that we were both shocked to see each other! There were quite a few people having a picnic outside and I've seen some people having snacks inside. It's a great place to read and forget that we live in a city, especially on a cold day.

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  2. I'm feeling all Paul Gauguin now.

    I may have to take a trip to one of the conservatories here for a comparison. The one I usually visit, the Lincoln Park one, does not have nice tables sitting around for your leisure--I like your option there.

    And ah, Roland Garros. It was your posting last year about RG that led me to your blog--it's been a treat ever since.

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    1. That would be great if you did a post about the one at Lincoln Park!

      When I exited the metro, I thought about how different it was from when all of the crowds were there for Roland Garros, which of course made me think of you and how fortunate I am that you found my blog. By the way, I have a big note on the top of the February page in my calendar that says, "Tickets go on sale for Roland Garros!"

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  3. One of the advantages of living in California is that I have each of these hibiscus varieties in my townhouse complex (named GreenTree for a reason) and in my patio, my treasured blue hibiscus tree stands guard.

    Still lovely to see the tropics making an appearance in Paris...and nice to know you felt well enough to visit, after yesterday.

    dekage

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    1. How lucky! I miss seeing tropical flowers outside of a greenhouse or at a florist. The blue hibiscus are particularly lovely. I hope that you have some gardenias in your townhouse complex. The scent of those always reminds me of California.

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  4. Wow- I don't think I have ever heard of this place! So cool.

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    1. No - not "so cool" -- it "so hot"! :) I felt as if I was melting in my trench coat and quickly took it off and enjoyed the hot, humid air.

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  5. While I'm absolutely a snow girl, the warmth of conservatories in the winter is just lovely!

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    1. My favorite conservatory of all time is the one at Como Park in St. Paul - perhaps because it's the first one that I went to as a child.

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  6. I feel all summery now! Yet another place to visit added to my list ...

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    1. Steph, Caiti really does have to come to Paris for uni because your list is getting pretty long! :)

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  7. Yum! Will for sure be checking this out as my winter blues continues!

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