What is it about Parisians and Flowers? I am trying to wrap my head around that question this morning as I write the copy to go with the photos of some of the most beautiful flowers and the most beautiful shops I have ever seen. In the finest hotels of Paris you will see some truly amazing arrangements. At the Paris farmers markets you will also find hydrangeas and roses and tulips that defy a proper description. And if you purchase a few bunches, they will not be packaged in plastic, but in perfect brown kraft paper with a colored lining, and tied with a suitable yet stylish raffia bow. You know how much I love my Beaune market, and there is a vendor there selling flowers each Saturday, but there is no market in the world that can compare to the Avenue President Wilson (16eme) market in Paris for cut flowers. You will indeed find beautiful hydrangeas growing in Brittany and Normandy, and roses and jasmines in the south, but the best of them seem to find their way to Paris.
Each week I bring fresh flowers to a friend. He’s French, and only wants white flowers, and greenery. As with perfume or décor or clothing, flowers are a very personal expression for Parisians, and they are a part of daily life. And not to be redundant, but it’s not just about the French, it’s about Paris and their love affair with flowers. Everyone is buying flowers around Paris! In the chicest neighborhoods there is a florist on every block it seems. And every flower and every arrangement is perfect. This is a hair salon. Flowers are front and center in the window.
It seems that for Paris, flowers are not an option, they are a necessity. And they must be slightly over the top, with exuberance or perfection of the individual flowers, or preferably, both. I had just a small dose of Parisian floral perfection this week with some bunches of delphinium which were in deep blue and white, and about 5 feet tall. By the way, if you want to keep these lovelies from shedding, load them up with a fine hair spray after your arrangement is done.
I am going to show you some amazing flowers and shops in Reve; and I discovered by accident this week that one of my favorites is the shop that Carolyne Roehm went to, to study flowers for a year prior to writing her book on flowers and floral arranging. Carolyne has fantastic taste; where else would she go, but Paris? This is not that shop, but a different one; you will see many more large gorgeous photos in the book. Red silk damask walls in a florist shop? You know when you see this shop that you can only be in one city in the world. And that is, of course, Paris~