I may be straying off the theme of plants and green places a little, but the quays of the river Seine are one of my favourite open spaces in Paris.  I’m drawn to the open skies, the changing light on the water and the wonderful panoramas of bridges and buildings, especially on days of wet or changeable weather, when a brisk walk by the river is better than a lazy stroll in the park.

Heading along the quay towards Pont des Arts today, hood up and camera tucked inside my raincoat, these orange umbrellas caught my eye.  Members of Sgen-CFDT, the main French teachers’ union, were gathering outside the Institut de France.  The union is well equipped for protests in all weathers, and the small procession crossing the bridge stood out against the grey sky today.

This photo hasn’t been colour enhanced – that’s just how it came.  The pink and white panels on the bridge, commissioned from a local street artist, are a temporary measure to replace the wire mesh weighed down to breaking point by thousands of ‘love locks’.  The long term plan is to replace the panels with glass so the graceful metal structure of the bridge can be seen again, without fixing points for the problem locks.