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Perfect Parisian Balcony Gardens: 7 Favorites from the Gardenista Archives

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Perfect Parisian Balcony Gardens: 7 Favorites from the Gardenista Archives

October 30, 2018

We have the 19th-century Parisian urban planner Georges-Eugène Haussmann to thank for our ideas about how a Parisian balcony should look:a  graceful filigree railing set against a facade of cut stonework, with sweeping views of the grand boulevards below and pretty potted plants spilling over with flowering vines.

Haussmann’s vision of an airy Napoleonic city of light created countless narrow balcony gardens in the center of the city. Part of his legacy was to create the casually chic balcony garden. Here are seven favorite Parisian balcony gardens from our archives:

10th Arrondisement Aerie

In actress and script writer Diane Valsonne&#8
Above: In actress and script writer Diane Valsonne’s 10 Arrondisement flat (also shown in this post’s top photo), a pair of French doors swing open to connect a living room to a balcony garden. Photograph by Mimi Giboin.

You can create a layered look by thinking of a balcony as a space with three separate zones for plants: a facade (where trained vines can grow up the wall), a floor (where potted plants can cluster), and a railing (for window boxes full of herbs and sun-loving flowers). See more of Valsonne’s charming garden in How to Garden Like a Frenchwoman: 10 Ideas to Steal from a Paris Balcony.

Roof with a View

 On a roof in the fashionable 8th arrondissement, landscape architect Camille Muller designed a 650-square-foot roof garden with trellised apple and pear trees, untamed raspberry bushes, and horsetails growing beside a miniature pond. Photograph by Marion Brenner.
Above: On a roof in the fashionable 8th arrondissement, landscape architect Camille Muller designed a 650-square-foot roof garden with trellised apple and pear trees, untamed raspberry bushes, and horsetails growing beside a miniature pond. Photograph by Marion Brenner.

See more of this garden in Secret Paris: A Tiny Roof Garden with an Eiffel Tower View.

 Above: A hidden rainwater tank collects water, which is recycled to irrigate the garden beds. Photograph by Marion Brenner.
Above: Above: A hidden rainwater tank collects water, which is recycled to irrigate the garden beds. Photograph by Marion Brenner.

Skylight, with a View

A glimpse onto the street in Paris’ th arrondissement from architect Nicolas Soulier and ceramist Cécile Daladier’s rooftop. The garden was &#8
Above: A glimpse onto the street in Paris’ 14th arrondissement from architect Nicolas Soulier and ceramist Cécile Daladier’s rooftop. The garden was “planted with a casual gardening philosophy and because of the lack of sun and shallow soil, the couple appreciates a mix of wild herbs, weeds, and climbing ivy,” writes Alexa.

See more of this garden in A Ceramicist and an Architect in Paris.

Hotel Balcony Garden

Situated between Montorgueil and the Marais, the Hotel National des Arts et Metiers in Paris has guest rooms with balcony gardens. Photograph via Hotel National des Arts & Métiers.
Above: Situated between Montorgueil and the Marais, the Hotel National des Arts et Metiers in Paris has guest rooms with balcony gardens. Photograph via Hotel National des Arts & Métiers.

See more at Arts et Métiers: An Industrial-Cool Hotel in Paris, Redone in Terrazzo and Marble on Remodelista.

Photograph via Hotel National des Arts & Métiers.
Above: Photograph via Hotel National des Arts & Métiers.

Awnings shade the balcony gardens from hot midday sun.

Montmartre Mini Balcony

Tiny balcony, &#8
Above: Tiny balcony, “expansive view of Montmartre,” writes Margot. Photograph by Marie Hennechart.

A 452-square-foot studio apartment overlooking the rooftops of Montmartre includes a small balcony, from which documentary-style photographer Marie Hennechart enjoys the view in a collapsible butterfly chair. See more in Photographer Marie Hennechart’s DIY Parisian Studio Apartment Makeover on Remodelista.

Indoor Balcony

 Above: A cascade of ferns and vines creates a curtain of mystery and privacy for an entryway in a Parisian apartment building. Photograph by Mimi Giboin.
Above: Above: A cascade of ferns and vines creates a curtain of mystery and privacy for an entryway in a Parisian apartment building. Photograph by Mimi Giboin.

Read more in 8 Houseplant Ideas to Steal from a Grand Parisian Escalier.

Duplex Garden

A second-floor balcony garden overlooks homeowner Tom de Fleur&#8
Above: A second-floor balcony garden overlooks homeowner Tom de Fleur’s small courtyard garden. He blurs the boundaries between the two with a tapestry of textures and allows plants to overlap and grow together. For a similar look, train vines and climbers to grow up a wall to create a backdrop layer of foliage. Photograph by Mimi Giboin.

For more of this balcony garden, see How to Garden Like a Frenchman: 10 Ideas to Steal from a Parisian Courtyard.

See more ideas to steal from our favorite European gardens (indoors and out):

Finally, get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various houseplants with our Houseplants: A Field Guide.

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