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Paris’s most beautiful secret gardens
With quarantine behind us, it’s high time to get out and enjoy Paris’s reopened green spaces. If you’re still keen to avoid the crowds, though, why not check out some of Paris’s best secret gardens? These hidden gems, unknown to most, are the perfect place to enjoy a quiet outdoor moment in an intimate setting.
Le Square Colbert
It’s not easy to stumble upon this little corner of green in the heart of the 11th arrondissement. Surrounded by unassuming apartment buildings, the Square Colbert is one of the best kept secrets in the neighborhood. To get there, open the gates at 159 rue de Charonne and pass through to the other side of the building. Here you’ll discover Square Colbert’s tree-lined alleys, open grassy areas, community garden, and magnificent neoclassical pavilion. In the past, la Pension Belhomme, a private clinic turned prison during the French Revolution, once stood where the current buildings surround the square.
Le Square Colbert, entrance at 159 rue de Charonne, 75011.
Le Jardin Anne Frank
The hustle and bustle of the Marais immediately disappears when you enter this corner of the capital. Just a stone’s throw from Beaubourg, le Jardin Anne Frank is a treasure trove of history. Right away, the layout recalls its 17th century past, when the garden was still privately owned and associated with the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan. The garden’s gorgeous pergola, surrounded by climbing roses and jasmines, is even identical to the original. What’s more, near the entrance, a large chestnut tree welcomes visitors, a graft of the chestnut tree that Anne Frank once saw from her window in Amsterdam. Further away, out of sight, there is a children’s play area, a large grassy lawn, and a community garden.
Le Jardin Anne Frank, 14 impasse Berthaud, 74004, Paris.
Le Jardin des Rosiers
You’ve probably passed right in front of this garden without ever noticing it. There is, after all, nothing to suggest that the gate at 10 rue des Rosiers hides a charming garden courtyard. Modest in size but full of greenery, the Jardin des Rosiers has a grassy central lawn dotted with birch trees for picnicking in the shade, a corner of wild plants with a huge fig tree, and a charming community garden. A small haven of peace, this garden is the ideal place to come and enjoy the falafel from down the street.
Jardin des Rosiers – Joseph Migneret, 10 rue des Rosiers, 75004, Paris.
Le Square Saint-Gilles
At le Square Saint-Gilles, everything is coming up roses. The fragrant bloom is the star of the show in this delicate French garden, with gorgeous climbing trellises throughout. Getting there almost feels like trespassing on private property as you enter the gates of modern apartment buildings and cross their courtyard passages. This romantic garden is the perfect place to read a book or have a picnic in peace.
Le Square Saint-Gilles – Grand-Veneur – Pauline-Roland, accessible at 7 rue des Arquebusiers, 75003, Paris.
Le Jardin Naturel
It’s true that in the 20th arrondissement, we tend to head to Père-Lachaise if we’re in the mood for a nice shaded stroll. However, not too far away, le Jardin Naturel plays host to its own organic ecosystem, boasting a meadow, a pond, and lots of natural undergrowth. With its astonishing biodiversity in an atmosphere that’s much wilder than the capital’s other green spaces, this garden is a little piece of countryside in the heart of Paris.
Le Jardin Naturel Pierre-Emmanuel, 120 rue de la Réunion, 20th arrondissement, Paris.
Cover photo: Mbzt, 2015 / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)