Sep 8, 2009

the life of trees in les tuileries

i love to stroll through the grand gardens of paris. who doesn't? the tuileries are particularly grand. the history of this place is fantastic. part of the royal palace design commissioned by catherine de medici in the 1500's, they have been home to queens, kings and emperors, they have been occupied, looted, burned to the ground, designed, redesigned and restored more than once.

today the gardens are restored to a plan set out in the 1600s by the great andre le notre, perhaps france's best known landscape architect. there is talk in france of rebuilding the palais des tuileries to give the louvre more room to display it's vast collections. the garden would of course shrink as the museum expands. tough choice, art vs. gardens.

already the  trees are having a tough time of it. they are among the most visited in the world. this is part of the problem, the visitors, pollution, the climate, even the pale sand kicked up by millions of admiring feet are dehydrating and depleting the trees. they are still remarkably beautiful, but are clearly stressed. losing their leaves early, showing more signs of disease. however lovely in their decline.

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