Arcueil and Bagneux are two suburbs in the South of Paris. A bit of an urban jungle if you ask me. Yet, as if feeding from the concrete, beautiful tulips are growing and reminding us that Spring is here. At long last.
There are quite a few allotments and gardens left in that area. Map courtesy of the association in charge of maintaining the allotments in Arcueil.
The only way you can survive the traffic is by taking the sneaky routes and avoiding the main roads and the dreaded “Périphérique”. But I managed to take little Brommie to the area. I was invited by Gisèle who welcomed me to visit her garden.
The entrance to Gisèle’s garden. The little milk plastic bottles are meant to protect the wooden gate.
Gisèle’s garden complete with fig trees (in the background), cherry and apple trees, flowers and veggies. Strawbs are growing but aren’t ripe yet, it’s too early for that. If I had a garden like this I would also grow gooseberries, just like my Grandfather. I love gooseberries. The French call them mackerelberries. How mackerels could turn into geese or the other way round I’m not sure.
Meet Gisèle, watering her plants on a beautiful Spring day.
Trees are everywhere, it’s beautiful. Birds are singing and one can hear them … and the traffic in the background. Just looking west makes you think you’re in the middle of the country.
Allotments became popular at the end of the nineteenth century. They were created by a priest, Abbé Lemire. He introduced many social innovations like the 11-hour working day. This would make quite a few people laugh these days. Mind you, I’d like to be granted an 11-hour working day, I could paint water colours this way. (Picture taken from that website dedicated to allotments).
I thoroughly enjoyed my time there but there is more to it. You will have to wait a little before I post the rest of the story.