Category Archives: design

The Sunday porch: Queensland

Queensland porch with shell, ca. 1895, via State Library of Queensland“Decorated corner of a veranda,” Queensland, Australia, ca. 1895, photographer unknown, via State Library of Queensland.

The shell of the giant clam (Tridacna gigas) pictured above was probably taken from the waters around the Great Barrier Reef.  Today, the mollusk is a “vulnerable” species due to overharvesting.

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The Sunday porch: paint and vines

Ste-Catherine, Brussels, Sept. 2015, enclos*ure

These are not really porches, of course, but two café doorways and a storefront.

They caught my eye while we were walking around the Sainte-Catherine or Sint Katelijne neighborhood of Brussels, which is just northwest of the Grand’Place and La Bourse.

Rue de Flandre, Brussels, Sept. 2015, enclos*ure

The one pictured above is on Rue de Flandre.

Rue de Flandre, Brussels, Sept. 2015, enclos*ure

I believe I snapped this blue café, above, on Quai au Bois à Brûler, facing the site of the old Saint-Catherine Bassin or canal port, covered over since the 1870s.

Ste-Catherine, Brussels, Sept. 2015, enclos*ure

I like the way the ivy is used as both a decorative windowbox planting and low privacy screen.

A vine-covered storefront, also along Rue de Flandre.
Above, a mass of vines shades a closed storefront, also along Rue de Flandre.


Detail of photo above.

Rue de Flandre is a good street on which to find an interesting restaurant.  We liked Viva M’Boma (old-fashioned Belgian food, emphasis on meat/offal) and Domaine de Lintillac (dishes from the southwest of France, emphasis on duck).

Click on any photo above to enlarge it.

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Marais garden, Paris

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The “hidden garden” of  the Musée des Archives Nationale in early September.

A quiet place to retreat to while exploring the popular Marais section of Paris.

I particularly liked the row of wire grid columns just inside the entrance from Rue des Quatre-Fils.  They enclosed upright pyracantha bushes and were underplanted with fountain grass.

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Pont des Arts, Paris

Pont des Arts, Paris, Sept 2015, enclos*ure

This summer, the much put-upon (literally) pedestrian bridge between the Left and Right Banks of the Seine had a new look. These pictures were taken in early September.

For some years now, tourists have been attaching “lovelocks” to the open iron railings. Their collective weight has threatened the structural integrity of the bridge, and the authorities have removed them more than once.

Pont des Arts 6, Paris, Sept 2015, enclos*ure

Now the sides have been removed again and replaced by boards covered with fake printed graffiti — not better looking, but lighter.

The boards were said to be scheduled to be replaced with plexiglass sometime this month.

Pont des Arts 4, Paris, Sept 2015, enclos*ure

The railings at the entrances to the bridge have been left alone for now.

Pont des Arts 8, Paris, Sept 2015, enclos*ure

Pont des Arts 7, Paris, Sept 2015, enclos*ure

“Graffiti can’t be stopped.”

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Grassline, Brussels

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This week, I’m just sharing a lot of little garden walk-by sightings from our trip to Paris and Brussels earlier this month. . .

I liked the simple elegance of this roofline planting on an apartment building in the Châtelain neighborhood in Brussels. It appeared to be all one variety of fountain grass. I couldn’t tell if the plants were growing in a container along the edge or if they were at the front of a larger terrace garden.


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