Mini-Gardens Grow on Parisian No-Parking Poles

August 14, 2011 by

The poles lining the streets in the 2nd district of Paris are there to restrict parking, but not planting.

When I received an email from Paule Kingleur of Paris Label about her POTOGREEN project, I knew I had to post about it. Not that Paris is wanting for beautiful gardens or flower boxes, but these no-parking barriers have always been a missed opportunity for some simple urban greening. Now people are doing something about them and enlisting kids in the process.

Urban gardens now line the streets…

To dress up the city’s unsightly no-parking poles, Kingleur engaged 600 Parisian school children to plant seeds in the planters, forming a grouping of hanging pocket gardens made from recycled canvas tent fabric planted with a variety of small plants.

Kingleur’s no-parking pole gardens, made from a combination of recycled milk containers and bits of tent fabric, are produced by individuals undergoing treatment at Emmaus, a rehabilitation center.

Aluminum inside the milk containers keeps the planters from leaking, while they stay dry due to the exterior canvas.

According to Kingleur, the main objectives for the POTOGREEN project are to encourage Parisians to beautify their beloved city of lights, while also creating sustainable development and economic solidarity.

Preparing for the planting.

Paule Kingleur organized the troops.

Residents planting together in the Paris’s 2nd district.

Signs posted ask all neighborhood residents and shopkeepers to water the plants and invite them also to adopt their own planters and place them at a favorite urban spot.

Photos by Alain Delavie, Anne Mazauric, Carine Tedesco, and Paule Kingleur. Visit Delavie’s blog, Paris Côté Jardin.


  1. Ellen said:

    Love it. Let’s try it in Manhattan.

    — August 15, 2011 @ 09:40

  2. Barbara said:

    Ellen, Manhattan would just take them down BUT Paris government does not allow residents to garden their street tree beds, like NYC does.

    Then again, Paris does spend a lot on their parks – and their streets are much cleaner….they allocate a much higher % to flowers and park care.

    — August 15, 2011 @ 09:50

  3. Suzy said:

    Love this,lets nurture everyone to love growing plants. We too have mini gardens at:
    for those in the cities with small spaces to grow plants. Buy a pack and choose your own creative container and spot to put it.

    — August 15, 2011 @ 17:33

  4. Maybe Not in Manhattan « revelgardener Pingback said:

    […] I’m wondering if this might work in some other locales?  Parisians spearheaded an effort to beautify the no parking […]

    — August 17, 2011 @ 14:35

  5. I. Gardener said:

    I just posted about this on my blog. I love the collaborative “nature” of it. While it might be difficult (though not impossible) in a place like Manhattan, I can think of lots of small towns throughout the States (including my hometown of Beloit, Wisconsin) who could benefit from such a thoughtful project.

    — August 17, 2011 @ 14:38

  6. Erin J. said:

    Wow! What a cool idea! That’s taking guerilla gardening and community gardening to a whole new level!

    — August 19, 2011 @ 18:52

  7. zachynyoga said:

    That’s a great idea, I would love to see that where I live 🙂 Could use some on the parking meters.

    — August 20, 2011 @ 13:29

  8. Emmon said:

    It’s so interesting — last week we were talking with gardeners about the potential of gardening to educate kids. And now I just saw THIS — where hundereds of kids are literally changing Paris in a way Barbara above rightly suggested would not even be possible in Manhattan. The things they must learn from this. The power to change a city! Thanks so much for sharing!

    — August 29, 2011 @ 13:59

  9. Emmon said:

    After several months, this is still among the most memorable garden stories of the year — blending child eduation, sustainability, beauty, and urban gardening! All in one!

    — November 8, 2011 @ 11:03

  10. Robin Plaskoff Horton said:

    Thanks Emmon, the city of Paris is doing such a great job at this.

    — December 8, 2011 @ 13:34

  11. Urban Gardens 2011 Roundup! | Urban Gardens | Unlimited Thinking For Limited Spaces | Urban Gardens Pingback said:

    […] 9. Mini Gardens on Parisian Parking Poles […]

    — December 19, 2011 @ 15:03

  12. Agen Bola said:

    Great suggestions Barbara! Also, maybe it could keep your plants safe from garden thievesâ??I keep hearing about these!

    — August 17, 2012 @ 00:42

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