Houseplants are not easy to find in the heart of a French city. Lidl will sometimes sell something - they had some chilli pepper plants a while ago. Auchan will do a small range occasionally. Ikea sells a range of moderately priced plants. Otherwise there are the florists, but their houseplants are very expensive indeed.
Enter Plantes pour tous, a group of nurseries and growers who group together, take an empty commercial unit or a municipal room and put on a two day sale of plants priced at 2, 5 or 10 euros.
They've visited Bordeaux twice over the past few months, the first time at the Halle des Chartrons where Pat and I went and queued to enter. We came out with a Scindapsus (a variegated vine with heart-shaped green and gold leaves) two different Sansevierias, a variegated Ficus Benjamin, a lovely spider plant and a miniature orange tree. Ikea provided a tall Dracaena and two small Aloe veras.
Plantes pour tous returned to Bordeaux yesterday and I went along hoping to find one plant in particular... and they had some! a Cyperus alternifolia (papyrus plant). I also came home with a contrasting Scindapsus and a Zamioculcas zamifolia. This latter was an impulse buy because I don't know the plant at all, it's frankly a funny looking thing, but it has the great virtue of being indestructible. Apparently to kill these plants you have to really want to.
Our apartment is now much greener and filled with life.