There are few places in the world that can compare with Paris in springtime. Cherry trees weighed down with blossoms, bouquets of fresh roses at the market, bunches of peonies in bicycle baskets… everywhere you look, Paris is in bloom. Inspired — and who could fail to be — by this yearly spectacle, American photographer Georgianna Lane decided to capture the city in its floral beauty, in her top-selling book Paris in Bloom.
We sit down with her to find out how she gets these spectacular shots, her favorite places to see Paris in bloom, and of course, which flowers you’ll find on her kitchen table. Read on for a romantic celebration of the city’s floral charms!
What was the driving force behind creating the book? A special memory, a wish to share this beauty with others..?
Paris in Bloom was inspired by my first visit to the city as a teenager. Picnics in flower-filled parks along the Seine, up-close viewings of my favorite Impressionist paintings, observing the Parisian art of presentation and standing awestruck at the magnificence of the architecture all had a profound effect on my artistic journey.
Later, as an adult, the more often I visited Paris, the more passionate I became about documenting and sharing this abundance of floral beauty — not only what I saw in the parks, gardens and florist shops but also in the exquisite detail and motifs inspired by flowers on literally every Parisian street. For many years, I’ve been visually pairing real flowers with their decorative counterparts, one enhancing and elevating the other to ultimately take the viewer on an inspiring adventure, inviting closer attention to detail and offering a new perspective.
On average, how long do you have to wait before capturing some blooms at their best?
I spent at least three months in each of the cities (Editor’s Note: Georgianna’s other titles include “New York In Bloom” and “London In Bloom”) during the spring to ensure that I capture the full season of blooming. And each book is done over the course of several years. So I have to be very patient, and return again and again to each location to always get the definitive images.
Where are your favorite spots to enjoy cherry blossoms in Paris?
My favorite spots are all listed in the book but the top ones are Jardin des Plantes and Notre Dame (currently hidden behind the construction).
Which Paris monuments or parks are the best backdrop to spring’s flowers?
The Tuileries and Palais Royal are both excellent. And of course the Eiffel Tower, either from Champ de Mars or Trocadero.
Read Next: 5 of the Best Florists in Paris
Which Paris florists’ displays inspire you the most?
So many! Eric Chauvin, Vertumne, Moulie Fleurs and my favorite local florist in the 7th arrondissement, David Martinot. If you’re after dramatic and breathtaking, Jeff Leatham’s displays at the Four Seasons George V astound me every time.
When creating a bouquet at home, which flowers do you gravitate towards at the market?
I prefer soft, neutral colors and generally look for seasonal flowers such as anemones, ranunculus or dahlias, and always include roses.
And finally, the flower that’s most often found in your house?
Definitely roses! Also daffodils in spring and hydrangeas in summer and autumn.