No. 231-233: Marshland, Potager, and Groovy Scarecrows
While I enjoyed the medieval houses and formidable cathedral in Bourges, what I really loved was the secret world of the marais. Strolling through les Marias de Bourges is a must for anyone missing green space or the earthy comfort of their vegetable garden or potager.
Just a stone’s skip away from Sainte-Etienne Cathedral, the marshlands surrounding Bourges at one time assured the defense of the city, but now serve as lovingly cultivated family gardens, supplying the city with fresh fruit and vegetables. The marais spans more than 330 acres—enough space for over 1,000 garden plots neatly carved out of the calm waters and green and flowering foliage and provides a unique space for nature and relaxation for residents and visitors alike.
It was heaven for Superman and Taz, and Button and I were reminded how great it feels to breathe fresh air and wander through a friendly and welcoming place and smile at the locals as they traversed the canals on foot bridges and boats. Each pint-sized plot had some sort of maisonnette (some more appealing than others), a sweet sign announcing what is theirs, and for the creative jardiniers among them, a groovy scarecrow or two to keep the birds at bay.
I was completely hooked. France continues to surprise me with her quaint and quiet charm. I will miss the Fête des Marais this August, but it is the newest item on my bucket list for 2015. If you are in France the end of August, make your reservations now. It is sure to be magical.
maisonnette: small house
potager: vegetable garden