Floating Gardens

river flowers

How can this magical place still exist in the middle of a bustling French city?

Since the Middle Ages there have been market garden plots here at Hortillonnages in Amiens, Northern France. Though horrific battles raged on its banks during the First and Second World Wars it has lived to bloom another day.



Birds and other wild creatures savour the richness of this wildness within a City.


Around fifty small islands, connected by narrow, richly overgrown canals, are still farmed for vegetables and flowers and a market is held here once a week.

River entry 2

There is no electricity on the small islands and the cottages built there are modest but charming.

Riverscene 2

The traditional flat bottomed boats, resembling gondolas, ferry tourists around this bucolic and gentle place.

Boays Hortillonages

In quiet reverence we drink in the peace around us for just a little while.River entry




This entry was posted in Environment, History, Photography, Puzzles and Contradictions, Thoughts, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Floating Gardens

  1. Sartenada says:

    Wow. What a place and what photos! Amazing post. Thank you teaching something new about France.

  2. Thank you for looking through my site – revisiting this one myself reminds me that the weather outside is not always frightful!

  3. pommepal says:

    Gardens and beautiful places like this are my favourite haunts when I am travelling. You have captured the serenity in your images

  4. Amy says:

    How beautiful! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  5. It is a special place – thanks for your visit!

  6. Dina says:

    What a gorgeous place! Wonderful photos and a lot of history.
    Enjoy your weekend!

  7. Mustang.Koji says:

    First of all, a very charming video…
    And when you mentioned it was devastated by two world wars, I had to look it up but briefly. It appears the town was leveled primarily by Allied bombers. I find it incredible Hortillonnages was rebuilt according to first laid plans. Yet, I think of those who may have perished during that most horrible war… so when I see tourists marveling at its beauty, I hope they think of those who perished.

    • Thank you for adding this – I tried to find out more about what happened in the wars but had no luck. I did see incredible photos of the ancient cathedral still standing but surrounded by devastation.

  8. gpicone says:

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  9. margaret21 says:

    That’s wonderful, and I knew nothing about it when I visited Amiens, years ago. An excuse to visit again, definitely. Thank you!

  10. Mike says:

    An enchanted city. Great collection of lovely photos.

  11. Sheryl says:

    What a beautiful spot! I’ve never heard of this place before. I’m going to have to try to remember it. It looks like a place I’d enjoy visiting if I get to France.

  12. Colline says:

    Absolutely beautiful. What a lovely place to spend time in the middle of a bustling city.

  13. restlessjo says:

    What a glorious place! I wish…. 🙂

  14. It looks like such a delightful place. Those floating gardens are almost magical. And your photo are beautiful, capturing the essence of the place.

  15. gpcox says:

    You have some fantastic shots here, Carol!

  16. icelandpenny says:

    LIke others who comment, I had no idea this place existed. Absolutely magical.

  17. quilt32 says:

    How gorgeous. It would be wonderful to see this in person.

  18. Isn’t that a lovely place? Another one to put on my list!

  19. Gallivanta says:

    How delightful. It looks like the sort of project that might suit our city! I think my grandfather was in this area during World War One.

    • Community gardens do seem to be flourishing everywhere these days – not with the history of this one but you have to start somewhere! There were terrible battles in and around Amiens in the First World War – your poor Grandfather and all those other young men.

      • Gallivanta says:

        Yes, it must have been terrible but he still seems to have had some time for sight seeing; seems odd, but there are postcards that indicate that was so.

  20. joannesisco says:

    … and yet one more reason to completely love France! ❤

  21. I will be in Paris in October with occasional free time. I hope I remember to chase this up. It looks delightful.

    • You may want to try! There is a fast train from Paris to Amiens and besides Hortillonnages, the cathedral in Amiens is spectacular! It’s called the Notre Dame d’Amiens, hails from the same time as the one in Paris but is twice as big! Add to that, there are no lineups,crowds, entrance fee and surrounding it are parks, cafe’s,shops and artisan’s and it’s delightful.

  22. Gunta says:

    How utterly charming!

  23. sheila katz says:

    Sure wish my garden looked like that.

  24. Sue Slaght says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! What wonderful photos of this blissful spot.

  25. Looks beautiful. Knowing what a gardener you are can well imagine how much you enjoyed this and once again I loved your photographs especially the one with the 2 ducks on the boat – incredible colours.

    • Thank you dear friend and this was great inspiration for my modest attempt at gardening…I like the shot of those two as well and with beautiful colours like that it’s hard to loose!

  26. vsperry says:

    Thanks for taking us on a tour. I had no idea this existed. Another place to put on my list of things to visit in France. It seems that every time I go the places I ad outweigh the places I cross off the list!!!

  27. Lavinia Ross says:

    What a beautiful place, and with all the history! Thanks for sharing.

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