8 ways to create your French garden for 2020

A classic French garden has several key ingredients which can be easily replicated no matter how big or small your outdoor space is.

Topiary driveway French mansion

Topiary, pottery, antique urns and fountains are easy ways to add French accents to your garden, patio, terrace or courtyard. 

One - French topiary

Classic French topiary French garden design ideas

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. 

Symmetry in the garden hornbeams and lawn French garden design ideas

Symmetry axis French garden design

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

Terra cotta pots beside doorway French garden design

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.

Antique French Biot Jar Mediterranean French garden design

Ancient biot jars were used for storing olives and olive oil. They add an instant Mediterranean touch to any garden.

Antique French Anduze garden urns French garden design

Classic Anduze urns are perfect for any garden or courtyard. Traditionally they were planted with citrus trees. 

Three - French garden finials

Garden Finials French garden design rose garden

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.

Swimming pool design French garden

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

Antique French fountain four faucets octagonal

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. 

Simple garden wall fountain French garden design

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. 

French roses

Wrapping roses in neat boxwood hedging makes a formal statement and works wonderfully well in sloping gardens.

French roses with antique Biot jar French garden design

Butterfly on French lavender

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. 

Using olive trees French garden design

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.

French vegetable garden with purple cabbage

Glass garden cloches are used like miniature glass houses for melons and lettuce and also keep the escargots at bay. 

Antique French glass cloche for garden

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. 

Small French garden ideas gravel wisteria vine

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.

Pair of Medici urns garden entry with zinias

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. 

French biot jars olive jars for sale buy online from France fast shipping to United States

Our timeless biot jars are handmade-to-order in France

Bespoke French pottery handmade Anduze urn made in France delivered to United States

Our classic Anduze urns are handmade by artisans in Anduze



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  • Dawid

    Awesome, best ideas for french look an garden

  • Nancy Brantley

    What is name of climbing rose? Thanks

  • Susannah Cameron

    Many thanks Kirsten for your kind comments and reference. Yours sincerely, Susannah Cameron

  • Kirsten Hoenyman

    Wonderful images and commentary on French garden style! I notice you used my photograph of the charming garden at La Paternelle. Please provide a link in the photo or caption to this original content in case your readers would like to know more about the garden: http://www.ladolcevitacalifornia.com/2014/01/translations-creating-wonderful-whimsey.html Merci!

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