A walk through the Tuileries Garden in the summer is a must when visiting Paris. There’s always something special about the garden no matter the season. During the summer you can’t miss the Ferris Wheel and fair, plus the gorgeous flower beds, which are specifically designed to complement an exhibit at the Louvre.
If you follow me on Instagram I’m sure you’ve noticed that recently the Tuileries content has increased. During the heatwave I switched my morning run location from along the Seine to the Tuileries. I thought it would be a good way to avoid the concrete (aka pizza oven) and get more shade.
Honestly, I’m not sure if or when I’ll ever switch back. It’s such a nice place to start the day.
These photos are from a few different summer walks through the Tuileries, but they’re all from the past week. The heat and lack of rain this summer has been especially hard on the trees and they’re prematurely dropping leaves. This along with the cooler weather makes it feel a little like fall in some places. However, in the middle of the garden it’s still definitely very summery!
Tuileries Flower Bed Design
The flower beds in the Tuileries are seasonally inspired by an exhibit at the Louvre. The current inspiration is the “Body and Soul: Italian Renaissance Sculpture from Donatello to Michelangelo” exhibit, which opens on October 22nd. Below you’ll find more about four of the five different inspirations.
To The Battlefield!
These are the most dramatic of the current Tuileries flower beds. the beds are filled with (sorry if this gets a little technical, it’s what they listed on the sign) Tinkerbell F1, Red Pigmy, Trusty Rusty, Easy Wave Red Velours, Appleblossom, Silver Dust, and Cynara cardunculus.
The inspiration from Sarcophagus: Achilles at the Court of King Lycomedes is as follows:
The gardeners wanted to express the energy and enthusiasm shown by Achilles, the Greek warrior and hero of the Trojan War, as he prepared to return to battle. They designed a red, pink, and pearl-grey flowerbed with jasmine tobacco flowers, dahlias, coleuses, petunias, begonias, and cinerarias.
In French (in case anyone wants to practice):
Les jardiniers ont souhaité exprimer l’énergie et l’enthousiasme du héros grec de la guerre de Troie, Achille, au moment où il s’apprête à retourner au combat. Ils ont composé un fleurissement rouge, rose et gris perle. Parmi les plantes choisies se trouvent des tabacs d’ornement, des dahlias, des coléus, des pétunias, des bégonias, et des cinéraires.
Next you’ll see the Plea flower beds. These are pinker and feel more summery to me. The flowers used are Queen, Amaranthus caudatus, Bishop of Liandaff, New Zealand, Elurra, Geranium lierre, and Summer Jewel.
The inspiration from Bacchante in a frenzy or Cassandra is as follows:
The gardeners were very moved by the desperation and dynamic stance of this female figure. They combined pale flowers with some warmer tones to reflect the color of the marble; pink hollyhocks, amaranths and red dahlias are interspersed with dark castor oil and sorghum plants.
Les jardiniers ont été touchés par le désarroi de cette figure féminine, mais aussi par son mouvement énergique. Ils ont imaginé un massif aux couleurs pâles évoquant le marbre dans lequel est sculptée l’œuvre, soutenu par des tons chauds. On trouve des ciéomes roses, des amarantes et des dahlias rouges, ponctués de ricin et de sorghos plus sombres.
These are the pinkest of the Tuileries flower beds, which makes them my favorites. I also love the names. They are filled with Park Princess, Fiesta Time, Clio Magenta, Go Go Purple, Blue Spire, Diamond Frost, and The King of Dark Blue.
The inspiration from Captive ‘The Rebellious slave’ is as follows:
What struck the gardeners with this work was the contrast between the figure’s broken demeanor, provoking sympathy, and its dynamism. This mostly pink and red flowerbed featured hollyhocks, spider flowers and sage with flashes of white delphiniums and euphorbias.
Les jardiniers ont été frappés par le contraste entre l’attitude abattue du personnage, qui suscite la compassion, et son énergie. Ce massif à dominante rose et rouge avec des dahlias, des roses trémières, des cléomes et des sauges est illuminé par le blanc des delphiniums et des euphorbes.
The final group of flower beds are the softest and most delicate. They are filled with Teesbrooke Audrey, Riding Hood, Sweet Pink, Lythrum salicaria, Salvia gauranitica, Gaure lindheimeri, and Savannah.
The inspiration from Decorative frieze is as follows:
Based on the gentleness of this peaceful work and its rich adornments, the gardeners imagined a largely pink, vegetal flowerbed with splashes of blue, purple, and white. Dahlias, penstemons, petunias and pink loosestrifes are thus accompanied by sage and delicate beeblossoms.
La doucer de cette œuvre apaisante ainsi que sa richesse décorative ont inpsiré aux jardiniers une palette végétale dominée par le rose et ponctuée de bleu, de violet, et de blanc. Des dahilias, des penstemons, des pétunias et des lythrums roses sont accompagnés de sauges et de délicats gauras.
The Perfect Walk Through the Tuileries Garden in the Summer
For me, the perfect walk through the Tuileries technically begins outside the garden. I like to walk under the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. From that position you have a view of the entire Jardin des Tuileries, the Luxor Obelisk in Place de la Concorde, and the Arc de Triomphe.
From there, I usually start my walk one of two ways: through the center of the garden or to the left and along the Terrasse du Bord de l’Eau.
The Center of the Tuileries
When I go through the center I like to wander through the pathways to see different views of the flowers, fountains, Ferris Wheel (it is the summer after all), and Louvre. This version is usually my more leisurely walk through the Tuileries. The green chairs scattered throughout are irresistible both to photograph and sit on.
If I want to really see it all, I walk along the Terrasse du Bord de l’Eau. This path has an elevated perspective of the park, one of my favorite views of the Louvre, overlooks the Seine and Musée d’Orsay, and if you follow it to the end you’ll eventually be looking over the Place de la Concorde.
You can walk along the entire perimeter of the Tuileries (you do have to dip down and go back up at the Fer à Cheval (horseshoe) near the Octagonal Pond), however, for a walk through the Tuileries Garden in the summer this isn’t my preferred route. I love La Fête Foirane des Tuileries, the summer fair with the Ferris Wheel, but it’s a little bit of an eyesore up close.
So, when you reach the Fer à Cheval, I recommend walking back through the center of the garden again. Walk all the way to the round pond, and when you reach it go left towards the Ferris Wheel. Even if you’re not a Ferris Wheel person (I’m personally not, I think they’re a little boring), if you’re a fan of Paris you should go for a ride. The views are fantastic. And what better way to end a walk through the Tuileries Garden in the summer than with sweeping views of the city?
When To Walk
I recommend going in the morning on a Tuesday (when the Louvre is closed) or Sunday if you don’t want to encounter as many people on your walk.
However, if you’re thinking about a Ferris Wheel ride too, I’d recommend going as the sun is going down. You don’t have to time the sunset perfectly, but anytime during golden hour is especially stunning.
I hope you enjoyed this walk through the Tuileries Garden in the summer!