French Language Blog

Thumbs Up for La Fête des doigts verts (green thumbs) Posted by on Sep 18, 2011 in Culture, Vocabulary

It all started as an informal “underground” social meeting, before blossoming over the years into a big rendez-vous uniting every doigt vert (green thumb) around the French capital!

The graines(“seeds”) of the event, so to speak, were planted some thirty years ago, in the small town of Thiais, south of Paris, when les amoureux de la nature (nature lovers) would put their outils de jardinage (gardening tools) aside, and meet up to show off, for example, their most beautifultomates orcitrouilles (pumpkins) – all in a very friendly and festive ambiance.

Today, its avid fans like to describe it as une te populaire (folk festival) that gathers an impressive amount of people, who all enjoy spending du bon temps (some good time.)

But that, in fact, would only be l’arbre qui cache la forêt (the tree that hides the forest)…

The celebration features almost a hundred exposants (exhibitors): Some artisans (craftsmen), associations, pépiniéristes (nurserymen), attracting thousands of visitors in the span of only two days!

Each year, la Fête du jardinier amateur (the Celebration of the Amateur Gardener) selects a specific theme: In 2011, the French gardening afecionados invite everyone to explore the world of les plantes tropicales, featuring lots of exotic spices, as well as des plantes carnivores (carnivorous plants) that you probably never heard of in your whole life.

By setting foot into the impressive Palais omnisports of the town set for the event, some visitors feel like they’ve walked intoune véritable jungle (a true a jungle)—and others dans un authentique jardin japonais (in an authentic Japanese garden)!

Should you be puzzled by any plant in particular, several specialists would be more than glad to tell you everything you want to know (and probably some more.)

Outside of the Palace, les enfants (kids) find all sorts of games and workshops, teaching them, for example, how to make animals out of recycled objects, or how to extract pigments out of tree leaves.

But, of course, a folk festival like that can’t take place in France without thowing a bit of musique!

Indeed, a big concert gratuit (free) is held everytime. The special invité of this year is the French slam poet “Grand Corps Malade.”

The Palais also boasts des expositions avicoles (poultry exhibitions), others about la vanille (vanilla), les hérissons (hedgehogs), and even la cueillette (the picking) of honey in countries as far as Yemen!

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