Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sunday on the balcony

I think that today I definitely had the best brunch in Paris. It was so lovely that I almost don't want to say where I went- seeing as how my traffic is still pretty low, I guess that I can risk it. On Thursday, when B had off, we wandered over to the Flore en Ile on Ile St Louis for an ice cream and when I was flipping through the menu, I saw that they had a proper brunch menu. It sounded good, plus its only a five minute walk from our church so I made a mental note to try it out some day. When I saw how gorgeous it was out this morning, I knew that we had to find a nice terrasse for lunch and luckily I remembered the Flore en Ile. It was perfect, a terrasse without much car traffic going by, a really nice brunch menu (I had a perfect cheese omelette, and I am super fussy about my eggs so thats really saying something), a view of Notre Dame and the river, and best of all, no trendy young things hogging up all the nice tables for hours; it was probably 60% old people from the neighborhood and 40 % tourists. The price wasn't bad either at 21 euros as the table was groaning under all the food they brought out- there was even freshly squeezed orange juice.

After all the food, we definitely need to a bit of exercise so we walked over to the Marché aux Fleurs to get some new plants for the balcony. We probabl had a better winter than most years- I lost the same three lavendar plants that I loose every year. For some reason (too much sun? too much wind) one side of my planter is jinxed and those plants never make it for more than 6 months. So we picked up a few pots of lavender officinalis , the only variety that seems to like our balcony. I decided that i was sick of white geraniums and, besides, our plants were looking a bit tired after 5 years. I watch gardening shows and look through Met Home and tell myself that I will do something cool next time I buy plants for the balcony- lots of grasses. Maybe giant yucca plants in inox pots. Sculptured pines? So what did I buy? Bright pink geraniums. What can I say? I'm just country, I guess.

When we got home, we put Ella down for a nap and B and I dug into the massive job of cleaning out all the dead leaves, pruning, trimming. We decided that a lot of the plants needed to be repotted with fresh dirt so that required an extra trip out for extra potting soil. And then there was all the clean up. Anyways, we worked hard and when it was all done, I popped open a bottle of nice cold pink champagne and we sat down to enjoy our work. Every year we say that we have to simplify things because the watering alone probably takes up an hour or two a week. Then plants are always dying and needing to be replaced. We have to arrange for someone to take care of things when we go on holiday. Its hard work. But it is so nice on a hot summer day to collapse into one of the chairs and suck in that cool green air. Its amazing how much difference it makes to have the plants. And I suppose I really am a country girl. It might just be a poor substitute for a garden, but it gets me through until I can get back to WI and the real thing.
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