A classic French garden has several key ingredients which can be easily replicated no matter how big or small your outdoor space is.
One - French topiary
Boxwood does well in shady gardens and the planning and maintenance are well worth the effort for a stunning lush display. Symmetry and axes are classic design features in traditional French gardens.
Mounting a weathered planter on a podium is a lovely way to add height and interest at the end of a garden path.
Two - French pottery
Antique and vintage pottery filled with greenery is a lovely way to create a focal point in your garden or to highlight architectural features such as a doorway or garden gate.
Ancient biot jars were used for storing olives and olive oil. They add an instant Mediterranean touch to any garden.
Classic Anduze urns are perfect for any garden or courtyard. Traditionally they were planted with citrus trees.
Three - French garden finials
Emphasize architectural features in your garden with sculptural finials. This rose garden would be far less impressive without these beautifully weathered garden finials mounted on columns.
Pottery placed on the corners of a swimming pool is a lovely way to make your pool even more beautiful and grand. Classic French garden furniture on the lawn makes this an irresistible spot to spend the afternoon.
Four - A French fountain
Running water in a garden evokes memories of Provencal villages. There is the constant sound of running water from an incredible network of natural sources. A simple and beautiful faucet into a trough completely changes the feel of any garden or courtyard.
Five - French roses and lavender
French roses and round lavender bushes are obligatoire in any French garden. Plant en masse to great effect and enjoy roses at eye (and nose) height by training them over an arbor.
Wrapping roses in neat boxwood hedging makes a formal statement and works wonderfully well in sloping gardens.
Six - Trees: Cypress pines and olive trees
Provence is famous for it's cypress pines and olive trees. They are hardy, beautiful and wind resistant even against the mistral! Driveways and gateways are lined with these beautiful trees.
As they are evergreen their dense foliage can be enjoyed all year round.
Seven - The French potager
Fresh herbs and vegetables are part of La vie quotidienne in Provence. There are the most exquisite potagers (vegetable gardens) offering produce year round.
Glass garden cloches are used like miniature glass houses for melons and lettuce and also keep the escargots at bay.
Eight - Small French gardens
There is nothing more charming than a petite French garden. Whether it is a balcony, a small enclosed courtyard or a terrace, it is easy to make these spaces inviting and lush.
A low maintenance garden with pebbles, boxwood and grapevines is the perfect size for entertaining outdoors and catching some sun. This lovely garden is at La Paternelle, you may discover more about this beautiful property here.
Choosing large pots rather than many small pots has a greater impact in a small area. They are less likely to dry out quickly and allow larger plants to be planted.
The entry to a walled courtyard can be framed with a pair of Medici urns planted with evergreen standard trees.
Image credit: Chez Pluie Provence, La Paternelle by Kirsten Honeyman (Eight - small French gardens)
Explore our collection of French garden furniture and planters here.
Explore our exquisite collection of French garden decor and add French flair to your garden.
Our timeless biot jars are handmade-to-order in France
Our classic Anduze urns are handmade by artisans in Anduze