French garden design: Make your own Mediterranean paradise

A French garden is timeless,  you don’t French garden very often anymore. They appear to be labour-intensive and the initial installation can be costly, but the rewards are beyond words. The budget and the manpower required depends on your design. It’s easy to create a beautiful, low maintenance and budget-friendly design.   

french garden

French gardens increase your property value

Picture quadrupling your property value and appeal, although if you plant a successful chateaux garden, why would you ever want to move?

Bulbs, succulents, and various other materials are essentials in the creation and maintenance of a chateau or French garden. The help of modern-day gardening implements makes a project like this far easier to achieve.

french garden

Transform your box-shape backyard into a symmetrical masterpiece

One of the most defining characteristics of a French garden is their love of symmetry. Everything is planted according to a pattern.

They love using focal points with elegant pots, box-shaped planters, paving, edging, and neatly trimmed hedges. It’s the ultimate outdoor manicure. A chateau garden should provide lots of easy access routes to the gardens via pathways, with the garden enveloping the walkways in a haze of greens and white with soft splashes of other colours. It’s certainly not chaotic, it’s neat.

This is why it’s important to plan your garden layout before you get started. Here’s our step-by-step guide for creating your own Chateau Villa Garden.

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Build the necessary elements into your French garden design

  • Stonework, stucco walls, and paved pathways form the way in which your garden layout will work. They also add that vintage-villa feel.
  • A few large old flower pots with a crack or two have an unrivalled sense of authenticity to them. Geraniums (Pelargoniums) are an old favourite. Although they tend to add a distinctly English feel, they still blend with the time period.
  • Geraniums are extraordinarily low-maintenance – rewarding forgetfulness with prolific flowering when they’re in full sun.

If you want to approach this with nothing but authentic villa constituents, large lavender bushes planted along the walkway will do the trick.

french garden

Use geometry to neaten your French garden

  • The French love that square/rectangular garden shape. Add a stone surface with a square of green plants within that, and a stately pot in the centre.
  • Geometry is easy to work with, you can make it as basic as you feel you can manage. Complex designs that wrap around focal pieces with variety and colour are breathtaking but complicated.
  • Often, a small space has the opportunity to make a bigger impact if its design is kept basic and simple. It soothes the senses, giving the eyes a welcome break from the visual stimulation that generally bombards us in modern life.
  • Gravel and stone surfaces are practically maintenance-free if you add a layer of coarse salt to the ground before you lay the stones. A centrepiece that contains succulents will add a further low-maintenance element.

french garden

Use monochrome elements in your French garden beds

  • The most important factor, no matter what you do in your French style garden, is to think “shape”. Adhere to your geometrical plan. Even your garden beds need to be part of a pattern.
  • The next item to consider is colour. French style gardens are typically monochromatic. That means they focus on green, plus one other colour. It’s usually green and white or green and lilac. Lavender bushes, Zantedeschia (Arum lilies), white Albuca, Irises, Galtonia candicans, and Hymenocallis are perfect French garden bulbs for a crisp white appeal.
  • Ensure your garden beds have neat borders. Mondo grass makes a neat border, and it’s fairly resilient to heat, provided it gets watered.

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Add colour – but do it with the style of a French garden

The tradition French garden-makers don’t often opt for very vivid colours, breaking tradition only in the form of bright window boxes in order to add vibrancy into the picture as a whole.

When they do use vivid colour, they do it in a big way. There are no half-measures!

For example, a field of tulips, or a large bed dedicated to daffodils. It conforms to the rule of same with same. This also brings out the English influence, but as we said earlier, you’re respecting the time-period, so it works.

When you opt for bulbs that are seasonal, plan what you will have in that space when those bulbs are not flowering. Stay season-aware.

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The final touches for your beautiful French garden

You’ve done all this work to create a French garden, it seems only right to enjoy it at a table and in good company.

It’s an important part of the Mediterranean culture to enjoy large meals with family outdoors. Include a wrought-iron or wooden dining set. Not only is it fantastic for entertaining, but it’s also a lovely quiet area to sit in the sun and read a book. Every work of art requires a place you can sit and admire it from.

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As you know, you can get all the bulbs, planters, and gardening for your French style garden from our online store. Or, if you’re a novice in the garden, start at the beginning and learn how to plan and design a garden.