Jardin des Plantes

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After leaving Luxembourg Gardens, we walked 1.4 miles to the Jardin des Plantes.  The Jardin des Plantes is a large botanical garden located just to the east of the Seine in the 5th arrondissement of Paris.  It covers 69.2 acres and was the first botanical garden to be created in Paris.  Though it was founded in 1626, it did not open to the public until 1640.  It was originally planted by Louis XIII’s physician, Doctor Guy de la Brosse as a medicinal herb garden.

I am currently reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and I’ve enjoyed the many references to the Jardin des Plantes.  I can picture Marie-Laure and her father traipsing through the gardens on their way to the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of locks.  If you, too, are reading this wonderful book, I hope that my photographs will help bring the Jardin des Plantes to life for you.

There were many plants that I had never seen before, and I didn’t do a very good job of taking photographs of all of the name placards (shame on me), so there won’t be much information to share in the post — only pictures of pretty flowers.

Here’s a link to the Imgur photo album containing the photographs in this post.

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Russell Hybrid Lupines

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Jardin du Luxembourg

France4Bryan and I had traveled to Europe twice before our trip to France, and both trips were during December.  I thoroughly enjoyed our December trips to Germany; however, it seemed to me that Paris would be perfect during spring, so we chose to visit France during May.

Prior to the trip, I researched parks and gardens in Paris and knew that I wanted to make time to visit Luxembourg Garden.  We went to Luxembourg Garden on our second day in Paris — the same day that we visited Musee d’Orsay and St. Chapelle.  Luxembourg Garden did not disappoint!  It was full of people, statues, flowers, and life!  We even got to watch a few rounds of pétanque (which I regret not taking any photos of), a game we read about before our trip.

Marie de’ Medici, a native of Florence and the wife of King Louis XIII, began creating Luxembourg Garden in 1612.  She wanted something to remind her of Florence.  Today the park is owned by the French Senate and occupies 60 acres.  It is home to 106 statues, of which I photographed a mere 17.  We spent a couple of hours at the park and didn’t even come close to seeing everything.

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Statue of Marie de’ Medici

Here’s a link to the Imgur photo album containing the photos in this post. Continue reading

Photography Contests Galore!

Photo Contest Entries Collage September must be the month for photo contests. Birds & Blooms’ Backyard Photo Contest entries must be postmarked by September 15th, and entries for Solvay’s Specialty Polymer’s Business Group’s 2016 calendar are due on September 15th, as well.  Entries for the 2015 Amarillo Tri-State Fair are due on September 17th.

Birds & Blooms – Backyard Photo Contest

I was cleaning up my office when I came across a page out of the September 2015 Birds & Blooms issue about a photo contest that I had intended to enter but had completely forgotten about.  There are three categories in the competition – Best Flower, Best Bird, & Best Butterfly.  I regularly take photos of all three of those items, so I decided that I’d go ahead and purchase one print to enter into each of the categories.

The flower photograph that I’m going to enter is a photo of some gladioli that I planted this year.  I love that they’re tri-colored, because all of my other gladioli are only one color.  I also think that our “rustic” fence makes a nice photo-background.

Backyard Gladioli

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Les Jardins de Claude Monet

During May 2015 we took a trip to France.  After spending three full days in Paris, we rented a car to head out to Normandy and then on to the Loire valley.  We stopped at Claude Monet’s gardens in Giverny on our way from Paris to Bayeux.  I’m not sure if the gardens of today are still true to how Monet planned them, but they were lovely nonetheless.  I was particularly excited to get to see the ponds and water lilies and a slightly-modernized version of his Japanese bridge — both made famous by his impressionist paintings.  I was truly amazed at the huge variety of plants and colors that were present in Monet’s gardens.  I like to think that Monet put a lot of thought into designing the gardens and that maybe what is there today still looks like what he envisioned in his head…like a living work of art. We got a little bit turned around after we left the parking lot.  There weren’t really any signs indicating where the entrance to Monet’s Gardens was, so we walked the wrong direction for a bit.  We eventually gave up and turned around, and I took this photograph on our way to the entrance, not knowing that it was actually the back of Monet’s house.  I thought that the shutters, vines, and colors were charming.

Shutters on the back of Monet’s house

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