The Champs Elysées became a true field this weekend, with over 150 different species of flowers and plants from all around France, planted in parcels along the full kilometer of this famously traffic-clogged avenue. The weather was perfect and 2 million Parisians turned out to enjoy the wheat, lavender, hops and roses, as well as four separate forests, orchards and animal farms…
1000 workers, mostly young farmers and horticulturalists, began installing the gigantic gardens on Saturday night, wheeling out metres of grape vines, colza, lupines and apple trees.
Visitors began arriving early Sunday morning including, of course, President Sarkozy, who came to reassure France’s worried farmers, who are concerned about their future, for many reasons… The conceptor, Gad Weil (who planted a full avenue of wheat along the Champs Elysées 20 years ago) and the landscape architect Laurence Médioni explained that their primary goal was to get the public involved and sensitive to farming and environmental issues. Each parcel of land in the enormous garden patchwork was sponsored by private companies, such as the Guerlain scent garden, and on Monday evening the plants were sold off to the public and donated to charities, dispersing a bit of France’s agricultural heritage to each of Paris’ arrondissements.
Though the traffic lights were set on red for cars, they would have been more inspiring as Go Green for plants,