I originally wrote this post from Normandy in 2020 and noted that my two favorite times of year to walk through the Tuileries Garden are the spring and fall. It’s true, out of the four seasons spring and fall are my favorites for a stroll though the Tuileries. However, I can now say with certainty that spring is the most glorious season to watch unfold day by day.
The History of the Tuileries Garden
During the Middle Ages, the land where the garden is today was used to manufacture tiles. Tuile means tile in French, and a tuilerie is a tile factory. In 1564, Catherine de Medici built the Palais de Tuileries (which burned in 1871) and created the gardens at the same time. In 1664, famed French landscape architect André Le Nôtre redesigned the gardens. His work has stood the test of time as the Tuileries is still a favorite destination of both Parisians and visitors alike.
Inside the gardens there are plenty of places to relax and enjoy being outdoors. There are also two museums and numerous cultural events that take place throughout the year. Musée de l’Orangerie, a fabulous small impressionist and post-impressionist museum, is especially known for the eight large Water Lillies panels by Claude Monet. The Jeu de Paume is a modern and post-modern photography and media museum.
The Tuileries Garden in Spring
The Tuileries is one of my favorite places to enjoy early spring blooms in Paris. Starting in late-February, the pink magnolia trees begin to flower and set off spring in the Tuileries.
In late March the first leaves start to return to all of the trees and perfectly manicured shrubs and bushes in the French formal garden.
In April, the flower beds and entire garden come alive. Each bed filled to the brim with bright beautiful flowers that change seasonally according to different inspirations in the Musée du Louvre. There’s also a second wave of pink trees with the Judas Trees that bloom around mid-April. From April into the summer and fall the flower beds remain with gorgeous flowers that change with the seasons.
In spring 2019, I walked through the Tuileries just before it closed for the night. It was like having the entire garden to myself. In spring 2020 I imagined that it probably looks similar today, except without the iconic green chairs. The chairs were likely stacked up, waiting for the day when Parisians and visitors alike could return to enjoy this wonderful haven in the middle of the Paris.
As it turns out, in spring 2021 the Jardin des Tuileries was still rather empty. A quiet season in the garden compared to years past, but nevertheless beautiful. I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from my spring 2021 walks (and there were many) through the Jardin des Tuileries.