Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Garden shops along the Seine

Another Parisian stop that was recommended by friends: garden shops along the Seine, just a skip down from the Louvre and a skip up from Notre-Dame.

Can you even wrap your head around the idea that a bit of prime river-front real estate would be occupied by plant stores? I couldn't, and I first tried to find them a couple blocks further back, my notes couldn't possibly be right?

But no! There they were, right next to the river. With plants!

Even Cactus...

And "erect" ivy...

See!?... I do not make this stuff up.

This place was closed. Too bad, they had possibilities.

But then there was Vilmorin: "Today, nearly 273 years later, the Vilmorin store is still in the same place, with the same desire to perpetuate the spirit of service and passion of the garden in the heart of Paris" Seriously! (source)

Two hundred and seventy three years!? Hell, Portland is only 167 years old, having been incorporated on February 8, 1851. This store is over 100 years older than my city...

I'm not sure I can really comprehend.

The plants on the sidewalk were fun to peruse, but inside was even more interesting.

There were lots and lots of containers.

A ton of different types of soil and soil amendments.

A twine selection like I've never seen.


Passionflower being sold as much for its fruit as its flower.

Looks like that guy has a painful back, poor fellow.

I couldn't resist, this packet of Tajinaste rojo came home with me. I suck at seeds but I'm really gonna try to make these happen. Send me all the positive seed vibes that you can (and check out this blog if you want to see some great photos of this plant).

Seed pucks, ha!

I can't help but wonder how much sucess people have with some of these...

I guess they're definitely in it for the long haul.

Back outside there was a palm! Chamaerops humilis

In another shop just down the boulevard...holy Opuntia fruit! More fruit than pads, how is that even possible?

Sweet! A favorite of mine...

Same stupid name in France though.

Finally we ended the stretch of plant shops and needed to go find a cafe and have a glass of vino!

Pretty fabulous though...

Weather Diary, March 12: Hi 69, Low 41/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Super interessante!
    Amei as imagens.

  2. It is difficult to wrap our minds around the vintage of Europe. Vilmorin in the same place for 273 years... people must be great success with those seeds. Did you start the Echium seeds yet?

  3. Oh, the seeds! I would have been in heaven. Some of those packets were so colorful and interesting. You weren't tempted to try the Protea seeds? I love that last Cactus, it looks like he's waving good-bye! I'll be sending all the positive seed vibes I can spare. From what I hear, Echium wildpretii self-sows pretty prolifically, so it shouldn't be too hard to get some going.

    1. Except for the fact that technically you aren't supposed to bring seeds back. So you might have had your heaven dashed upon return... (hence my reluctance to buy much). Echium wildpretii does self-sow, just not ever in my garden!!! (grrr)

  4. OMG is right! I remember reading about a couple who were restoring a very old house in England and creating a garden and they got some trees etc. from a nursery that was going out of business after 300 years. They bought a 100+ year old Harry Lauder's Walking Stick. It all makes American gardeners look like the newbies we are.

  5. The land under the plant shops must have been bought up all those years ago, right? Or is it socialized plant shops? Whatever it is, I'm all for it!

    1. Sure probably bought up, but by the shop owners or others? Here hungry developers would be pushing out those shops in favor of new new new!

  6. In a state currently witnessing a billionaire pursuing a lawsuit to the US Supreme Court seeking to privatize access to the sea coast, no, I can't get my head wrapped around a city that values plants and the population's need for natural connections above real estate values. How I wish we were that civilized!

  7. I love Parisians value plants so highly. And the antiquity of Europe in general blows the mind. Great post, Loree. It's great to tag along.

    1. Thanks Eliza, it's good to know I'm not boring you all!

  8. Pretty amazing in so many ways. Can't believe some of the seeds being offered.

  9. Is that last pic Opuntia “Snow?” Cause that’s showing up everywhere here too. Home Depot even has it.

  10. Wow ... I am having flashbacks to when we lived in the Netherlands and saw so many plant shops and market stalls .. they would have amazing plants .. too bad we could never take any back to Canada with us .. wonderful post !

    1. Ya that "taking them home" (not) thing really sucks! I felt that when we were in Toronto a couple of years ago.

  11. love all your frequent posts.. also great optuntia from france...
    cheers from tejas.

  12. Wow - that's staying power... Vive Vilmorin!!

  13. seed vibes coming your way, as requested...


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!