I have been posting on the large gardens of Paris, so I thought I would present some of the smaller gardens as well. This is inside the Hôtel-Dieu complex, a working hospital, next to Notre Dame. The French believe that gardens help cure patients more quickly. This hospital has a full time gardener who keeps the gardens in good condition. The medicinal garden was a staple of gardening in medieval times, often mixed in with the kitchen garden. Also known as a herb garden or a garden of simples, specialized medicinal gardens have been made at least since the Middle Ages, though plants were grown for medical purposes long before. A “simple” is a herb used on its own in medical treatment. Many modern drugs are, of course, extracted from herbs and other plants.
Everyone who visits Paris wants to find a secret spot and/or romantic interlude known only to them. The small Jardin de la Nouvelle France on the far side the Palais de la Découverte, at the corner of avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt and Cours la Reine, easily meets both requirements assuming you bring a lover along. For a small 1.7 acre park in an out of the way location this particular Paris park draws a lot of attention. “New York Times” writer Elaine Sciolino describes it as a “tiny stage set.” Richard West writes, “A small waterfall, a weeping beech tree, lilacs and maples, a wooden footbridge-the perfect edenic, quiet spot to contemplate whether the poet Baudelaire really wore a green wig.” Susan Cahill calls it “The enchanting Garden Valley Switzerland, invisible from the street, accessible only if you know how to find the path.”