Monday Opinion: Inside Out

For the past three years, my sister in law Tine has sent me a Christmas ornament of the Eiffel Tower.  That is, she sends the same ornament, every year.  I don’t really know who makes them, or where she buys them, but I choose to believe she buys them in Paris, and brings them home for me.  This may be nonsense-her local Ace Hardware may carry them. Or maybe she found 20 of them in a resale shop somewhere.  I only know I have never seen them anywhere but on this kiwi topiary tree in my dining room. Not that I need any explanation.  They are beautiful-a very delicate pale gold and an equally elegant pale blue.  Like I imagine Paris to be. 

 I will interpret the meaning of this gift for you.  Pete and Tine go to Paris every year, in the spring.  She wants me to go with them to Paris, in late May.  Any year would be fine.  They would stay as long as I liked.  They would take me anywhere else in France I would like to go, for as long as I wanted.  We would see the gardens, of course.  But we would also see the shops the markets, and the museums-and surely, the Eiffel Tower.  Normandy-we would go.  The south of France-we would linger there.  She is extraordinarily patient about this request.  She does not lecture, berate, or attempt to persuade me.  She just sends me the Eiffel Tower Christmas ornament-a beautiful reminder of what could be.

There are so many places I would like to visit-the end of May.  France of course, and surely all of Italy.  The Chelsea Flower showI am certain it is extraordinary.  As for the Netherlands and Belgium-a spring trip would be lovely.  The spring in Spain-what is that like?  Does Iceland have a spring?  South Africa-I imagine the country, the wild flowers, and the gardens turn plenty of gardening heads in the spring.  Don’t forget Texas, or Philadelphia, or Scotland, or Vancouver.  I hear that the Appalachian mountains are beautiful in the spring.  What place on earth wouldn’t be grand in the spring?

It’s a good thing that I have a landscape and garden.  I am always home in the spring, more often than not, working.  Most of my exposure to spring in other places is anecdotal.  Other people’s gardens.  Other people’s trips in the spring.  Other people’s photographs.  via ther people’s writings, drawings, publications and music.  Lucky for me, considering I live inside my own world much more than out there.  A new year brings possibilities with it.  I have a standing opportunity to go to Paris.  And a standing date with the garden, come spring.  





  1. I feel that same way about all those places you mention, all and more on my to-do list. Even though I have no standing opty’s! It is nice to have others’ writing and photos so easily accessible now, when it isn’t very easy to get away.

  2. Oh !!! ….to plan a trip for you to France….don’t get me started. Let’s make a deal….I will start a landscape project if you go to France. Oh….the things we would love to show you in France. I guess we will just have to get in line….make it a tad later….we will be there this year….oh the fun to be had. What can we do to help? Consider us two of your coaches. Things are looking very interesting for 2013…I can see that. Xxoo. Happy New Year to you both !!! M&M

  3. Renee Fershee says

    So many memories of France…one of my most treasured is dusk at Jardin du Luxembourg during the Fall when the sky can be grey, the weather cool. I usually sit alone on a simple cafe chair far away from any movement as shadows and darkness approach, taking in the fading sounds & colors of the day. In the distance Paris sings and it is at this moment the garden offers up its true magic! Then the piercing of the gendarme’s whistle reminds me of the present…and Jardin du Luxembourg must be left alone for the night. But, this place, this beautiful garden is always there waiting for me! I hope you can visit some day!

  4. marianna sneideraitis says

    One thing is for sure….if you go to Paris… will never say….”I shouldn’t have done that”
    You will more than likely ask that they invite you again!

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