If you've ever been to the gardens at Versailles, or seen images of them, you know what grandeur French gardens can display. Naturally those palace gardens are over-the-top. However, elements of the French garden are relatively easy to incorporate into your landscaping. If you have a house you want to showcase, utilize French gardening design to complement your home.
Make the House the Focal Point
The purpose of the gardens in France, regardless of their own grandeur, is to highlight the residence. One way to do this is to have the house serve as the center point of a series of concentric circles. Everything within your garden should be within the radiating circles.
Another way to manage this effect is by creating footpaths throughout your landscape. Utilize pavers and border plants to create meandering paths with occasional stops to turn back and admire the view of your house. Add a shade tree or bench to encourage visitors to linger.
Utilize Specific Materials
Certain materials lend themselves to the French style:
- Cast iron
- Pea gravel
When planning your hardscaping, utilize these materials as much as possible. For instance, if your patio includes a cooking area, consider using granite or marble on the countertop. If you have a retaining wall, add a porcelain tile mosaic. Include wrought iron seating to your garden.
Add Antique Elements
In that same vein, incorporate décor that's antique in design – or even actual antiques. The Landscaping Network suggests the following garden décor:
- Ornate urns
- Old stone troughs
- Antique planters
- Iron gates
Any of these elements can become the focal point of a mini-garden. For instance, place an ornate urn on a pedestal, and plant several lavender plants around it. Create a low border of box shrubs to add geometry to the space. You can even utilize such a mini-garden as a destination of one of your paths.
Include French Plants
Speaking of plants, utilize French plants in your planning. French lavender is the obvious variety. However, many French gardeners use boxwood to create geometric patterns. Likewise, a pear tree is a likely tree for shade. Clematis and "knockout" rose are pretty flowers that remind visitors of the French countryside.
While you're at it, consider using your clematis to create another charming mini-garden. For this addition, train the clematis vine up a trellis or over a pergola. This installation can serve as a slight border or as a bit of shade for a wrought iron bench. French gardens are filled with areas that encourage dallying.
Include French style elements to add a level of chic to your landscaping design. Contact Rock Solid Services LLC or your local landscaping company to learn more about your options.