Wednesday, 28 May 2014

On the way to AFEA, Le Jardin des Plantes (Updated Below)

(I moved this post) So it was time to work and do what I had come to Paris to do. (Present my paper on Supr heroes at the Sorbonne).  I headed off to the university with my paper and presentation materials and couldn't resist yet another picture of the Seine.

It turns out the Paris Botanical Gardens were between me and the Sorbonne, so each morning as I headed off to my "Workshop" I got a chance to pass through the garden.  In the early morning the garden is full of joggers, but it was a lovely path to travel and set the tone for the day quite nicely.

Of course one of the first things I saw was this, not exactly what you expect in the Jardin des Plantes ....

It seems they also have a "Menagerie". The jardins de Plantes was given authorization in 1626 by Louis XIII to his doctor Guy de la Brosse. It didn't get planted for another 9 years, but it serves as the basis for botanical (and it turns out entomological studies in Paris. It wasn't opened to the public until 1640 since it was originally Le Jardin de Roi.

I passed by this garden and thought of my friend Maureen again.

Basically this is a prairie project in the middle of Paris to see how plant systems change over time. IT was lovely to see the wild flowers, the poppies and bachelors buttons blooming in this free growth zone.

Biodiversity is a primary project of the gardens and they do alot of seed saving and swapping for preservation of species.

As my allergies had been telling me, there was quite a lot in bloom.

There are over 4500 plants in the garden all planted by their biological family.

Evidently there is even a maze, but I didn't see it in my trip through. I believe this is part of the famous alpine garden that has some 3000 species in it.

 I hadn't ever thought about putting a bed of fox glove and poppies together. (Of course I can't keep poppies alive, but it is a compelling combination, n'est-ce pas?)

This is the building behind that lovely flower bed. Very palatial estate!

And I thought of my sister DCA when I saw this because of the large monkey puzzle-like tree.

 Then it was off to the conference (after getting lost for two hours - even though as it turned out I was less than five minutes from my goal! It seems very few people actually know where the new Sorbonne is! But the conference is a subject for another post!)

Here are just a couple of other images from my walk to the conference. I love this picture of the Parisienne older Dame. There is something so French about the pulled back hair, the dark dress and the sensible shoes with cane (well there should be a cane to wave in the air when telling someone what she thinks!).  To me this is so typical of Paris.

On the way to the Sorbonne I also passed the church near the Pantheon. Since it was open I decided to pop in quickly. The Church is called L'Eglise St-Étienne-du -Mont. Blaise Pascal and Jean Racine are buried there and I think Jean Paul Marat is in the Pantheon nearby.  I didn't really find them, but here are their markers anyway:

St Genevieve is also here.

 We got to hear someone playing the organ in a flagrantly hunchback kind of style and it was a marvelous experience to hear the church resound with the loud, but still eerie music.

Look at the fantastic carvings here on the lectern. 

(Did you know that only the stand on the left is officially a pulpit?) Here's a closer look.

I still had plenty of time to get to the key note address so I stopped outside and asked directions (and that of course was a big mistake.)

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