An Ephemeral Garden at Paris’ Hotel de Ville

Posted in: Paris Sights


Pars Garden Hotel de Ville
The square in front of Paris' Hotel de Ville has been transformed into a garden, through July 12. Photos by Kristin Hohenadel

Every year since 2006, the sprawling plaza in front of Paris’ city hall has been transformed into an ephemeral garden, offering a shock of verdant relief in the heart of this eternally gray city.

The Paris municipal crew responsible for maintaining the city’s 480 gardens, 20 cemeteries and the 100,000 trees lining its avenues and streets has created a tranquil green gathering space that includes grass, flowers, herbs, trees and plenty of wood palette benches and lawn chairs where you can take a breather, enjoy the smell of grass and flowers, sunbathe, people-watch, rest your feet or sneak in a little stress-busting siesta between sightseeing.

Ephemeral Garden in Paris 2Along with all the vegetation, there is an exhibition about the city’s trees and daily events ranging from floral arranging demos to children’s activities.

This year’s organizers have included a number of installations to promote the city’s community gardens and other ongoing re-vegetation efforts, as well as to inspire Parisians to make their own private efforts to add some green space to their tiny balconies and outdoor spaces, in a dense concrete jungle where there are just 5.8 m² of public green space per inhabitant.

Bring a book, a sandwich, or a friend and enjoy the ephemeral garden, free and open to the public on the plaza in front of Hotel de Ville until it vanishes July 12.

About the author

Kristin Hohenadel

Kristin Hohenadel is a writer and editor who lives in Paris.

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