Today Paris is overcast and a little chilly - can I just say that this is the kind of weather we have at the end of April and here they get it in mid-March? How is that fair? But anyways, in the Jardin du Luxembourg you can see buds on trees - some of them will be mauve-tinged white flowers and some of them will be leaves - and on Saturday we all went to the Bird and Flower Market, which I had never been to and was absolutely amazing.
You can wander the maze-like greenhouses from little shop to shop, looking at their white climbing clematis (I had thought for weeks that they were forcing jasmine, but no - it's clematis, and now I really want some for our balcony) and the ubiquitous topiaries, the birdcages hanging from the ceilings and the plastic pots of tea roses waiting to be put in the ground. We almost bought some, and then realized that we live above a flower shop and it would take some serious effort to lug a potted clematis bigger than I am home from Ile Saint-Louis to the fourteenth.
At home, my mother takes gardening seriously. Our front garden is a cacophony of peonies and foxglove and salvia and hollyhocks and delphiniums and roses and clematis and mock orange and a lot of other things I can't name. There are always the plants I know and love - "Caleb's" rose, the gorgeous old-fashioned one that smells like heaven and is actually just coated in thorns, the mock orange that I spent a while persuading my parents to get, the dogwood we planted a couple years back, the anemones that live in the shade of the Norway maple, the rambling sweet autumn clematis that blooms late in the season. That's one thing about being in Paris - I miss our garden, and that one week in Boston where all the trees bloom. If you happen to be there for that week (I would expect it in maybe April or early May) I highly suggest a walk or a bike ride down Marlborough Street in the Back Bay. You'll see why.