Without the Window Boxes might be a more accurate title.  For a few days now, I’ve been enjoying the flash of autumn colour through the railing, below the two boxes of marigolds, but it didn’t make a photo.  To take this picture I had to unhook the two boxes and shift the monster house plant (fortunately on wheels).  The richly coloured, golden orange, cherry leaves make a bold and cheerful contrast with the cast iron panel, but the picture won’t last long.  One night of wind and rain will take all the leaves to the ground.

The floor to ceiling portes fenêtres, known in English as French Windows, are only found in Britain at ground level, usually as door into a garden.  In France, as in much of southern Europe, these windows are common on any floor, so a rail is essential to stop people falling out. Balustrades crafted from forged iron were a feature of many Parisian buildings in the 17th and 18th centuries.  In the 19th century, cast iron panels (like this one) offered a more economical, mass produced alternative.  Less graceful and individual maybe, but not lacking in variety all the same.  Once you start looking around Paris, there’s a wonderful range of styles and patterns to be found in both forged and cast iron.  More to follow!