The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Paris Flower Markets

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290. The flower-markets of Paris are numerous. The oldest, established in 1808, is held every Wednesday and Saturday, and occupies an open area of about two acres on the Quai Dessaix; and the stands of the different florists (324 in number) are held under four parallel rows of the common and three-thorned acacia: in the middle and at the extremities there are basins of water, for the purpose of watering the plants. The stands are almost always kept by the wives or daughters of the growers; and not, as in London, by a distinct class, intermediate between the gardener and the consumer. The place of each person is marked; and each pays the town of Paris 25 cents (twopence halfpenny) a day. Every thing connected with the stands is portable; the pots and plants are, for the most part, set on the ground; and only such as sell seeds, and cut flowers, have small benches, on which they are placed. In summer, the attendant lady sits in a chair, close behind which is a pole or rod, terminating in a hole, for the insertion of an umbrella, which serves also as a parasol. In winter, she has a mat round the chair, and straw upon a board, on which to place her feet. Some have small portable houses, with a brazier of charcoal embers. We visited this market on September 13th, and on December 20th. (Gard. Mag., vol. vii. p. 130.) It is necessary for each person to prove that he cultivates a certain portion of land (25 acres) as a flower-garden, to be entitled to a stand in this market. (An. d' Hort., &c.) Besides this flower-market there are now four-more of the same, and under the same regulations. The first is in the Place de la Madelaine, and is held every Tuesday and Friday; the second is in the Place Royale, and is held every Monday and Friday; the third is on the Esplanade of the Chateau d'Eau, and is also held every Monday and Friday; and the fourth, which is in the Place St. Sulpice, is held every Tuesday and Friday.