Exploring French Open-Air Flower Markets

Photography by Joanne Holloway

In small towns and big cities across France, open-air flower markets convert public squares into festivals of fresh flowers and plants—even markets that emphasize foods make a place for blooms.

For the French, flowers are as essential as fresh baguettes. Open-air flower markets like this one, the Marché aux Fleurs, which is just a short stroll from the palace of Versailles, offer mixed bouquets and bundles of gorgeous cut blooms as well as potted herbs and flowering plants. Canopies held aloft by metal poles create temporary shelters for flowers and shoppers.