anna brones

writer + artist + activist

Wild City: Les Jardins du Ruisseau, Paris

with 2 comments

Les Jardins du Ruisseau by Anna Brones

All wildness is finer than tameness.

-John Muir

In an urban jungle I have been craving wild respite.

Trees.

Flowers.

Earth.

Growth.

There’s something about being born in the country and then living in a city that makes you yearn after greenery. It’s a feeling that no number of balcony plants will fix.

Les Jardins du Ruisseau by Anna Brones

I’m not alone.

Being outside makes us feel better; that’s a proven fact. Above and beyond that, working with our hands is good for us. There’s a whole book about it. Which is why the concept of an urban garden is so enticing; green space for city dwellers, where people are invited to spend time and get their hands dirty.

Les Jardins du Ruisseau by Anna Brones

In Paris, my friend Emily has a plot at Jardins du Ruisseau, and that means I get to take full advantage of an escape now and then to this wonderful reclaimed green space next to old train tracks.

Les Jardins du Ruisseau by Anna Brones

Les Jardins du Ruisseau is built alongside a section of the Petite Ceinture, a railway that once circled the city. In 2003 the City of Paris got behind supporting community gardens so that Parisians could get their hands dirty, and nowadays there are 70 jardin partagés throughout the city.

Les Jardins du Ruisseau by Anna Brones

The first of these gardens was les Jardins du Ruisseau, and it has everything you’d ever want from an urban garden: garden space for members to grow vegetables, or the occasional strawberry plant and raspberry bush, tables for communal picnics, compost, chickens.

Yes, I said chickens.

Les Jardins du Ruisseau by Anna Brones

Emily and I went to the garden for an afternoon break last week. The sun was out, the nasturtiums were blossoming. We sat and drank kombucha (homemade of course!) at the table and took in the warm afternoon. Surrounded by plants it was a calming comparison to the normal madness of Parisian life.

Les Jardins du Ruisseau by Anna Brones

The plants were growing wildly, in every sense of the word, strawberries growing into flower beds, and wisteria crossing over the garden pathway.

This was no meticulous Parisian park. This was a glorious natural haven.

I was reminded of the John Muir quote. While this little square of wildness has nothing on what plants will do when there’s no gardener involved, it remains a much needed dose of nature. A reminder that nature prevails. That eventually our constructed world will disappear under the tangles of the vines that will cover it.

Les Jardins du Ruisseau by Anna Brones

We all need a little wilderness in our everyday. Even if it’s just a breath.

I felt rejuvenated after just an hour in the garden. We chatted with the chickens, scoped out the compost. All things that make me happy. Simple things.

Les Jardins du Ruisseau by Anna Brones

From train tracks to garden- that’s what I would call a good use of space.

Les Jardins du Ruisseau by Anna Brones

You can have a taste of wilderness in the city, you just have to take the time to find it, and to make it.

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Written by Anna Brones

June 10, 2014 at 17:20

2 Responses

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  1. How magical. I love hearing of your lovely little escapes from the rat race… Not to mention the fact you are hanging out in Paris. 🙂 I am really bad at taking a moment to breath in the fresh air and stop, so… Once again, I thank you for the tap on the shoulder. Happy Thursday lovely. Hi from cold Australia, this post bucked me up knowing you are getting some sunshine. x

    shenANNAgans

    June 12, 2014 at 11:14

  2. […] annabrones.comBuilt alongside a section of the Petite Ceinture, a railway that once circled the city, Les Jardins du Ruisseau (the creek garden) provides a place for Parisians to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. […]


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