Often when you think of France, you imaging the charming countryside with its picturesque garden settings. The French Gardening style has long been copied by landscapers, not only for the beautiful style, but also the types of plants being used. It is actually very simple to create a French themed garden for your setting, full of elegance and charm!
The trademark of a French Garden Setting is variety. There are so many landscape designs to choose from, that it provides many options to choose from. In fact, it may seem a little overwhelming to choose a style, so it can be helpful to focus on the style of a particular area of France, whether is be the Riviera, the wine country, or the mountains. This will add focus to your plan, allowing you to perfectly capture the French theme!
A French garden is a blended garden. Beds do not need to be organized and separated from one another, but should be allowed to run into one another. There should be lots and lots of plants! Allow them to climb the garden walls or house walls as well. Add a stone pathway throughout the growth to allow for viewing as well tending. Create special nooks or overhangs to truly create a romantic and classical look. The idea is to create a garden that is well maintained without looking manicured and formal!
French gardens often feature some sort of architectural element as well. This can be in the form of a gazebo placed in a quiet nook, to sit and enjoy a good book in. Arbors and trellises work well too, and add beauty when vines are trained to climb up and over them. Arbors are great play places for children as well, French garden are almost magical, allowing for hours of imagination and play! No French country garden would be complete without delightful window boxes or arches created by plant growth!
What plants should be used for a French themed garden? Plants should vary in size and shape, and should contain great green foliage! Adding low ground covers to tall hedges to wide spreading trees are all great options. The ideal French garden is full of green foliage dotted with bright splashes of color. Also, plants will need to be well kept, they need to look natural but not be allowed to grow wildly! When it comes to vines, consider the Boston ivy or the Virginia creeper. These are great choices that work well for arbors or climbing walls.
When designing your garden setting, you can include useful as well as decorative plants. For instance, you can line a house with fruit or nut bearing trees. This is a beautiful focal point, and will also yield delicious produce. The front of the house may feature a cobblestone pathway that is lines with flowers and ornamental grasses. Add some decorative containers onto the porch as well as window boxes if possible. A side yard may contain a vegetable garden, while the rear of the house is made up of ornamental trees, flowers, shrubbery flower bed and herb gardens that are well maintained but flow into one another.
A French country garden is made up of luxuriant plant growth with full green foliage. Any landscape can be adapted to this style; the key is always to maintain growth and flow, while still keeping it maintained, but not formal. This garden theme is sure to bring a natural beauty to your landscape, providing endless enjoyment for years to come!
By: Susan Soler of the Garden-Fountains.com Team