Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Paris: purple trees

I've seen paulownias before, but only really as single specimens, now and then, and of course when they aren't in flower one isn't particularly likely to notice them. The experience of rounding a corner and finding a whole square of trees which appeared to have been painted purple was a new one, which seemed to add a fairy whimsicality to the city.


It was pointed out to us that they are really only in this state for a week or so of the year, so we were lucky to be there at just that moment. Which might be a(nother) good reason to go to Paris in the first week of May every year.

To look at foxglove trees in bloom
Twenty springs is little room

As Housman didn't say, but Haussmann might have done.


Ellena said...

Ah, I have no words to say how much I appreciate/admire/envy your 'way' of coming up with such a threesome.

marja-leena said...

Lovely! I don't think I've ever seen paulownias though I read at the link you shared that they are native to North America.

I am reliving our own wonderful visit to Paris through your superb photos, Lucy!

Roderick Robinson said...

You've done your best with different angles, etc, but it is difficult to escape the charge you bring against yourself. This is Paris as viewed by an off-com'd-un.

I suggest a pilgrimage, but forget Santiago de Compostela. Take the Métro to that suburb that formed the background for the movie La Haine - the movie all cinéphiles are aware of but few seem to have seen. Is it Bobigny? Work your magic there, bring out the tragedy. You've done that sort of thing before.

I jest, of course. You're entitled to a holiday and the disembodied feet are a perfect symbol of the power Paris has over visitors. Encouraging us all to walk far too far.

Lyse said...

Very attractive trees with flowers

Lucy said...

Thanks people.

Ellena - just random stuff really, sometimes it comes good! Glad you enjoyed them.

ML - I didn't know they were North American either, I thought perhaps they were from Asia.

Robbie - Needless to say, gritty social commentary is not for me, thank you. The nearest we got, and will likely ever get, to edgy was passing through Montparnasse station, or perhaps having a couple of hours to kill one lunchtime on the Porte de Pantin side of la Villette. It was a bit dreary but nothing worse, and in fact we ended up eating rather well at a bistro down a side street. Mind you, to get there we travelled up the Canal St Martin, an area which according to Fox News, it seems, is approaching downtown Baghdad for dodginess (

Generally life feels pretty much like a holiday all the time anyway (and I don't think entitlement has much to do with it), with nothing harder than wrestling with a couple of square miles of fast growing scrub and couche grass with a fairly small-time lawnmower mower, which is hard on the body but not on the soul. How long this state of pre- (or perhaps post-?) lapsarian serenity can continue, when the referendum (from which we will be disenfranchised as with all other electoral matters) casts our native land off into the Atlantic, our state pensions are frozen and our excellent healthcare by reciprocal EU agreement and even rights to work are withdrawn, who knows? And now you tell me we won't even have the occasional worthwhile documentary on BBC4 to solace us. Eat, drink and walk the streets of Paris, I guess...

Lyse - hein, tu écris en anglais? Chouette!

the polish chick said...

we hit lisbon at just the right time to see streets and streets of lavender-coloured trees. i thought they were jacarandas, but perhaps not. my portuguese is practically non-existent, and i was too far under their spell to really want to ask. god knows they wouldn't grow here, so why bother?

so glad you got a little bit of violet magic!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

How I would love to live in the tree-shaded penthouse on top of that building above the lovely purple trees in your photo!