In the low autumn morning light, the Parc Martin Luther King (Paris 17eme) is looking magnificent. This new park was built for the 2012 Olympic bid, on old railway sidings, and was designed by Atelier Jaqueline Osty et associés. It is hugely popular and is loved by joggers, children and skaterboarders alike. The park was built along environmently friendly lines, with the spoil from the ponds used to create mounds and changes of level within the park. A wind powered pump draws water into a canal planted reeds and bulrushes. The whole park is planted in a naturalistic way and the autumn colour of the trees and grasses are looking particularly lovely this week.
The scarlet leaves of two oaks (probably Quercus palustris
) are picked up in the reddish tinge of the bank of grasses which I think are Panicum virgatum
This avenue of Fraxinus angustifolia ‘Raywood’ is just beginning to turn red, with a beautiful range of leaf colour from yellow to burgundy. The red tints are picked up in the Viburnum opulus planted in the mixed hedge behind. I think the hedge is a made up of Viburnum opulus, Carpinus betula and Prunus lusitanica.
The community allotments boast a fine scarecrow happy to be among the asters and a lovely yellow grapevine.
A field of pennisetum sets off a burnished yellow multistem Parrotia persica
A sheltered seat surrounded by persicaria species and Gaura lindheimeri as well as pennisetum, miscanthus and panicum grasses.
Just beyond the canal of marginals a bank of statuesque grasses shine out in green and silver.
A romantic avenue of Prunus (possibly P. Sargentii
), complemented by red crab apples.
Transport : Parc Martin Luther King, Rue Cardinet, 75017, Paris. The nearest metro station is Brochant on Line 13 (Asnières branch).
Opening hours: See this link to the park’s webpage
as opening hours change with the seasons.
Facilities: Two play areas, one for younger, one for older children. A huge skate park, tennis and basketball courts, public toilets.
Nearby attractions: The nearby Square des Batignolles is a 19th century park also well worth a visit and I’m sure I’ll review it here soon. The Batignolles area of Paris is a lovely quartier to explore with lots of new vintage boutiques, cafés and restaurants (Try rues Nollet, Lermercier, Truffaut, des Moines et Legendre). For picnic ingredients try the daily (except Mon) covered market in rue Lemercier or a little further away the organic market on Saturday mornings on Boulevarde des Batignoles (metro Place Clichy). The park is currently undergoing a 2.2 hectare extension so part of the park is currently off-limits for building work.