April in Paris-Jardin du Luxembourg

Finally the trees have green leaves, tulips and flowering shrubs are blooming, and it is much more fun to visit the Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens) only about half a mile from our apartment. These are the gardens featured in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables! The 60 acre park attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. It includes traditional French and English style gardens, an orangery, fruit (hundreds of varieties of apple and pear trees) gardens and hot houses, the latter of which are only open to the public during European Heritage Days, this year, 2013, the 14th and 15th of September. The hot houses contain tropical orchids. The park also features beautiful fountains and about 100 statues. We will visit often as the place is a magical, green haven away from the bustle of the city. Currently the fence surrounding the gardens displays photographs of the Tour de France bicycle race. It is fascinating to see race photos dating back to the 1920’s. Until July 21st the Musée du Luxembourg (museum which is on the park grounds) has an exhibit of Chagall’s art that is on my list of things to see.

The Palais du Luxembourg shown in several of the photos has a long history. It was built in 1615 by Marie du Médicis, mother of King Louis XIII and member of the Médicis family of Florence, Italy. The Palace was a museum forerunner of the Louvre, one time home to Napoleon Bonaparte, Cardinal de Richelieu, and to Hermann Göring during World War II. It was used as a prison during the French Revolution and since has been home to the French Senate (which is not to say that the French Senate is being held in prison).


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  1. Ann Pyles

    Brings back so many memories of our time in Paris. Mostly remembering sitting in the gardens in the middle of winter with all of the other Parisians.

  2. Richard B. White

    Way Cool . . . Thanks for sharing. I recall the little Kids around the Ponds with their Sail Boats when we were there in 1994!
    What Camera are you guys using, or just your Cell Phone?

    • Hugh Nelson

      We use Google glasses for our photos…Well actually they are a combo of Brenda’s Canon Powershot SD1200 and my Fuji XE-1.

  3. PK MacLean

    Jardin du Luxembourg was one of my favorites. It was close to our hotel (about 6 blocks). I was there last September and the gardens were filled with dahlias and the chestnut and acorn trees were dropping their fruit. Beautiful! Have you discovered the petanque courts? One of my favorite pastimes was watching the old men play. Always a lively dialogue and good natured ribbing.

    • Hugh Nelson

      PK – we haven’t discovered yet (or don’t recognize) the pétanque courts. I’ll have to look around for them. Is this the same as the Italian bocce game? We’ve seen men in city parks playing what looked like that game. There was no formal court.

  4. Ardis Morrow

    I am so happy to be on the list to receive all the great dialogue and photos. Brenda, where are your tights and 4 ” heels? Looks like
    you are leaving your warm coats and scarves behind for the new season. I am anjoying the tour so much. Thanks for keeping in touch.

  5. Liz Murray

    Maybe we should put our congressman in a similar prison!
    We will miss you at Ardis’ birthday stroll through Bloedel Gardens on the 19th. We’ll think of your gardens you visit. Did you know that modern popularity of roses started with Josephine and the Tuilleries garden which she developed with every kind of plant from all over the world, and roses were one of her favorite flowering plants!

    • Brenda

      Hi Liz,
      I did not know this about Josephine and the Tulleries! Will be thinking of you all on the 19 th. have a wonderful time and give a big hug to Ardis. Thinking of you all!

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