Thursday, October 21, 2010

Les Fleuers

Though we've been home more than a month now, our memories of France are still fresh.  And none more so than les fleurs Francais! In every nook and cranny we encountered in the country of France there are flowers--beautiful and copious quantities of flowers.  They spill over windowsills, rock walls and terraces.  They wind their way up balconies and trellises and just about anywhere they can get a foot hold.  They grow up against old stone barns, Roman ruins, in cracks and crevices and are in pots of every color, shape and size.  They even adorn entrances of the most primitive latrines, are by garbage cans and are found in all manner of every out of  the way corner you can imagine. 
It is not by accident--all this beauty,  but rather a philosophy that permeates French culture.    According to *Lucy Wadham in her book "The Secret Life of France" the two most important ideals to the French people are pleasure/beauty and knowledge.  This, she says, is pursued more fervently than Truth or Duty.
Whether true or not, it certainly has had its effect on presentation and appearances in this fascinating country.  We never encountered one shop or cafe that wasn't simply exquisite.  Below, in amateur photo form, is just a small sampling of the beauty we have observed in our travels through Southwest France and Provence.
*Disclaimer:   While Wadham's book certainly gave a fascinating view of French life and thought, and helped validate what we saw and experienced,  I would not be able to recommend it due to its sexual content.

Loved their intertwining of fruits and vegetables in planters--here, Swiss Chard.

The French  art of window dressing--a
feast for the eyes! (You'd love it Lindsey!)

The French seem to find a wonderful balance
and playfulness of airiness, texture and lightness with colors--though hard
to capture on film.
 I saw so many wonderful containers I wanted to take home!

Notice the fresh flowers on our morning breakfast tray at
La Bonne Etape in Provence
Even amongst a coliseum's ruins a beautiful little cafe emerges in Orange!
A beautifully knotted bouquet of dried lavender adorns an entry
An all glass refrigerator showcases artfully
arranged foods at a  hotel where we stayed. 
Notice the rows of fromage blanc in darling small glass cups above!
A typical small grocery stand.
Fields and fields of sunflowers dot the Provence countryside.

Colorful French cafes--a dime a dozen!

A manicured terrace down to the water at Chateau de Losse (16th century) in Southwest France.
Driving through a small Southwestern village under a canopy of papery flowers
 that adorned everything during a special festival.


  1. You are right, I would love it. I just need to go to France.

  2. Great pictures mom=)


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