French Country gardens epitomize the passionate and romantic characteristics of the French. From the heady fragrant plants rambling over arches and trellises, to the soft sound of tinkling water, romantic bowers and aesthetically pleasing statuary, their love of all things beautiful is clearly expressed.
The best French garden example that comes to mind is the famed romantic and lush gardens of Claude Monet at Giverny, near Paris. Its timeless look incorporates past, present and future and expresses the harmony and balance the French are so adept at.
The country French garden is a blended garden. Beds run into each other and although they may appear to be wild and overgrown, underneath it all is the knowing hand and watchful eye of the gardener, keeping the lush growth carefully maintained and organised.
The French Country garden is also very green, playing with light and shade and punctuated with a profusion of colorful blooms birthed from the dark foliage.
Leading off the house will more than likely be an outdoor garden room, which will be an outdoor extension of the house and given just as much attention as any other room in the house.
Outside the kitchen back door there may be a Potager garden, which only needs a small area and usually tastes as good as it looks.
Create Your Own French Country Garden
Before planting your beds start off by introducing some old world charm in the form of arbors, trellises, pergolas, birdbaths small gazebos, statuaries, window boxes, fountains etc.
Create pathways for a romantic stroll by laying stone or gravel paths twisting and weaving a trail throughout the garden.
Plant vines to cover arbors, trellises, pergolas, etc. Consider various shades of climbing roses and wisteria with its gorgeous lavender colored clusters, as well as the fragrant jasmine.
Cover walls and fences with climbers and creepers like ivy. If your porch has a pergola think about establishing a grapevine.
If space permits, plant a small fruit orchard and nut-bearing trees like plum, cherry, apple and walnut trees.
Create flower beds, either serpentine or rectangular. Fill with flowers, herbs and vegetables. Choose useful and decorative plants. Blend the beds to run into each other.
Plant rows of roses, lavender, irises, peonies, petunias, etc. Plantings need not be in rigid rows but must be chosen to create a lush bed of green foliage in different shapes, textures and sizes - from groundcovers to shrubs, hedges and trees.
There should be abundant growth, filling up all the spaces - up the house, over the walls and around the property.
Plant window boxes and flower pots to give a splash of color. Geraniums are a very popular French choice and are seen in just about every French garden.
No French garden will be complete without a quiet recess or two, tucked into various nooks and crannies. Wrought iron chairs and table, or stone bench, are firm favorites for seating - to take in the view, enjoy the heady garden fragrances and unwind with your favorite sundowner.
Note that although there is abundant growth in the French country garden, it will not be allowed to run wild and must be well maintained, creating romantic nooks and shady recesses.
If you enjoy country gardens and country life do visit Real Country Living where you will find lots of inspiration and information packed into this delightful site.