Flowers in Knoxville, Paris and London

Flower Stand in London

Roses in London

One of the most delightful elements of my time in both London and Paris this summer was the bright, beautiful flowers. I’m not one to attempt to grow a flower and I can’t tell you the names of very many of them, but I have to say that those bright bursts of color in a city send my heart singing. Whether the flowers are hanging from a balcony or window-ledge or in beds or pots along the street, they give color to the sometimes gray tones of the street.

Flowers in a Castle in Central France

Urban Flower with the flowers in the Roden Gardens, Paris

In London the pubs compete to see who can situate the most flowers on one small building. It’s a tradition that goes back a long way and was intended to catch the eye of potential customers. It’s still going strong and it was a wonder to me to consider the enormous chore of watering all the thirsty little critters in the blistering heat we found on our arrival in that city.

Flowers aboard a house boat boat in the Seine, Central Paris

In both Paris and London flower stands or shops were ubiquitous and they always held numerous customers or generated long lines. The sight of people carrying flowers through the streets waited around every corner. Paris featured many more flowers hanging from balconies and window-ledges. Both cities feature large parks with beautifully cultivated flowers.

Flowers at the Market Square Farmer’s Market, Knoxville

Flowers at the Market Square Farmer’s Market, Knoxville

Sunflowers at the Farmer’s Market, Knoxville

Meanwhile in our city, flowers have generated quite a bit of excitement at the Farmer’s Market. While there have been flower vendors before, it seems their number has proliferated. One vendor in particular has very brightly colored cut flowers with which he will personalize a ten or fifteen dollar bouquet. He also sells large numbers of sun flowers. I waited in line for about thirty minutes last week for a dozen sun flowers and others waited longer. Something about passing someone carrying flowers necessarily elicits a smile and a kind comment. It brings us into a more personal contact. I’m pushing the guy to open a stand downtown everyday. I think Knoxville is ready for that.

Flowers in James Agee Park, Knoxville

Flowers in James Agee Park, Knoxville

Flowers in James Agee Park, Knoxville

I also recently walked past James Agee Park and found it to be much more pretty than the last time I noticed. The flowers in it are also pretty, if in an English garden sort of way.

What we apparently aren’t ready for is flowers on roof-tops. Bernadette West was informed recently that she is not to have flowers visible on the Preservation Pub roof-top. Apparently it violates some letter of the permit to allow her to open the rooftop in the first place. You may remember that was the subject of some brief skirmishes last spring. Why would we not want flowers visible on a roof-top? I’m not sure.

City worker waters one of the large planters located around the city.

Finally, I think it is worth a mention that we have city workers watering very pretty flowers in the pots on the street all around town. Anyone who cares has to agree that those flowers add greatly to the beauty and pleasure of our little city. It’s an example of something our tax dollars support which is completely unnecessary. Some might call it frivolous. I call it an improvement to our quality of life and I’ll happily keep paying those pennies on my taxes so we can all enjoy the result.

Sunflowers at an Undisclosed Downtown Location