BY LORI MURRAY , Texas Superstar Specialist

On a trip to France early last spring we spent several days in the town of Beaune, about 100 miles south- southeast of Paris in the area called Burgundy. Beaune is a wine center that holds a very famous auction every year in October and we had arranged a day long tour of the wineries in the area, but what stands out in my memory is the Saturday Market Day we attended.

The weekly Market Day is a charming feature of many European cities and an overwhelming number of wares were offered at this one.

An indoor area provided refrigeration for cheeses and meats and a place out of the sun for various candies and sweets. Outdoors were tents and kiosks as far as the eye could see.

There was a carousel to entertain the children, a section of used tools and household items (kind of like we would find at a garage sale), a section of clothing, and a section that offered kiosks of food as the market day took over a great deal of the small town. (See if you can find the product we got a kick out of.)

Our Cameron County Master Gardener spring plant sale was being held the same day so I was drawn to the section – one of the most prominent ones – that held plants. It was spring and everyone was longing to dig in the dirt (or at least to take some flowers home.) There were beautiful bedding plants and potted plants, herbs, vegetables, and hanging baskets as well as cut flowers offered by a florist whose sign was prominently displayed and who did a booming business with ladies wanting to bring spring into their homes.

My husband talked the florist into posing with his wares so I wouldn’t look like a rival taking pictures of his beautiful offerings.

It was a wonderful morning to browse and experience the traditions of another culture while also seeing how alike we all are in our love for nature.

One surprise: Although I had read about it, I had never had an opportunity to see it for myself – the French take their pets to market days with them!

There were dogs of every size, from the little one that rested in his owner’s purse while she sold flowers to the large ones who came to visit a friend, and every size in between.

Their presence added a special charm to this traditional event.