Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My Garden Visits -- Spring Fever on the French Country Patio

Symptoms:  Excitement, fatigue, restlessness, body aches, impatience, joy.

Diagnosis:  Spring Fever!

Treatment:  Two aspirin and REST.
Ha! Like that's going to happen. Well, maybe the aspirin.

 I'll try to remember it in between rearranging patio furniture, moving the bird bath,
digging out the river biscuit path, pulling weeds, and removing the old twig fence.


For me, planning is as much fun as planting.
My dream this season is to give my small patio space more of a French Country feeling
and I've been going non-stop to try to create it. 

French Country Patio/garden:

Imagine a Paris balcony drenched in flowers

Everything a Balcony Ever Wanted To Be! | From peoniesncupcakes | | { Houseplants 3 #flowers:

or an intimate courtyard in Provence under a vine-covered pergola.
Sigh.

detail from the la mas de la rose hotel in southern france

My patio was pretty enough but it didn't have that "frenchy" feeling I wanted.
I knew I couldn't completely recreate this private patio overlooking a limestone village in France
but I could try to give my patio some French soul.
So I got to work.


I attached a six foot trellis panel to my wooden privacy fence and 
wired on a metal window box that will hold flowers at eye level.
(You'll have to use your imagination here.
I'll do another post on the patio when it's warm enough for flowers.)


Next I attached a thrift store mirror to the trellis.
Turned on a diagonal, its lines echo the shape of the trellis. 
It appears that you're looking through a hole in the fence into a secret garden.


On each side of the trellis I hung a straw and metal planter basket 
that will hold herbs or flowers or trailing sweet potato vine.
Two big pots will hold tall narrow Junipers or trimmed Boxwood, giving the patio a European feel.


Where there was once a cottagey twig fence, a rusty metal divider now edges the patio. 
And a small clay planter (an alley find) filled with pansies rests on the flagstone.
Thank goodness for pansies, one hardy flower that can take the cold nights.


Flanking the planter is a concrete cherub and a pair of black metal lanterns.


We also moved a wall fountain to the back side of the house where it can be seen 
and heard from anywhere in the yard or in the sunroom with the windows open.
Should I plant a vine to climb around the fountain? Or flowers underneath?


Seating consists of a white bistro set, a small wooden garden bench 
and a long bench constructed from a painter's scaffolding. 


Imagine new cushions, a white tablecloth, and string lights on the patio to complete the look.

Is my dream of a French-inspired patio actually coming true?

French Cottage Outdoor Dining:
Hey, a girl can dream.

I hope you'll come back in a few weeks to see the finished patio with flowers and pretty linens.

If you enjoyed your visit, I hope you'll follow me by email.
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Linking with:  Bella Rosa AntiquesElizabeth and Co.Savvy Southern StyleKnick of TimeMaison de PaxA Delightsome LifeHave a Daily Cup of Mrs OlsonThe Vintage NestPeonies and Orange BlossomsPoofing the PillowsAdirondack Girl at HeartRooted in ThymeCharm of HomeShabby Art BoutiqueFrench Country CottageThe Cottage MarketShabby Fu FuThoughts from AliceOur Southern HomeRustic & RefinedDwellings-the heart of your homeBetween Naps on the PorchCozy Little HouseCoastal CharmCedar Hill FarmhouseA Stroll Thru Life


34 comments:

  1. Cherie, the treatment in France would be a glass of wine--red, white or rosé as you like.
    I think the key for a French feel is to have some old stones around. I live in France but our house isn't old. We networked to find somebody who was tearing down an old barn (around here they're made of stones) and wanted to find a place to dump some stones. We took them, happily, and built a low wall around the pool and around a dining area. The dining area, though shaded, also got a pergola, mostly to keep leaves and bugs off the table. Plus it's pretty. Anyway, it creates an outdoor room, with intimacy. Friends can't believe it hasn't always been here--it looks old.
    But seriously, coming from the Midwest, I think the key is that everything looks new and perfect in the U.S., vs. old and worn in Europe.
    Also: plants help.
    Will be watching the progress reports!

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    1. Thank you so much for your great suggestions. I need an old stone barn! I love old and worn and hope my patio turns out as pretty as yours sounds. I'd love to see what it looks like. Went to your blog but couldn't find any pictures of your house and garden. Stay tuned!

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  2. I'm in Chicagoland, and I know what you mean about having to wait on flowers. I will pick up some pansies today--because the rest of the week won't be frozen. Your fountain is gorgeous. I would Lattice around it, to make it even more important the width of the window area, keeping the lattice very neutral/gray even. Then plant sweetpeas, climbing roses or another vine, that's quick to grow and hardy. Too much sun and ivies get burnt. You could always hang a couple of pots from the lattice to add 'color' flowers. Such pretty bones you have...I cant' wait to see it all in full bloom, Sandi

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    1. Hi Sandi, love your suggestions for the fountain area. I'd considered lattice around it but was not sure it would support the weight of a fountain full of water. But I'm going to work on it. It's a fairly shady area so I'll have to research what will grow there and climb. Honeysuckle? I hope you'll check back to see what I do. Thanks again.

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  3. I like your ideas! Once you get the flowers in you will be able to see what else might need tweaking. I think you have a really good start on it.
    :)
    http://gwingal.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hi Nikki, thanks so much. Flowers will definitely help. Now, I hear we're supposed to get 10 inches of snow in Denver on the weekend. Argh!!

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  4. You are well on your way! I had to come in and take two Advil tonight after working outside. lol! What happened to that gal who could go, go all day long? I am getting excited to get my patio furniture out. Guess I'll wait till next week. Going to rain the next few days. I'm going with a new color theme to tie in with our grandsons wedding in June. We will be holding in our garden and I'm so excited! Thanks for sharing with SYC. Can't wait to see it when it's all filled with flowers.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Hi Jann, Always so fun to hear from you. A garden wedding sounds so beautiful. Pictures please. Your rain is supposed to turn to snow by the time it gets to Colorado from Utah. Thanks a lot! Good for the garden but I'm so over it. Hugs,

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  5. That second photo is one of my all time favorites. I have a book with that photo on the jacket and I have tried to create a similar look on my patio.

    thanks for sharing with SYC.

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    1. Your patio must be gorgeous. What book has that photo? Thanks for visiting!

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  6. We have been working so hard in our yard and gardens, we have even been planting some Lavender along the back fence of the garden.
    Love these photos and inspiration, it is all going to come together beautifully for you!
    Thanks for the lovely share at TOHOT
    Jemma

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    1. Dear Jemma, You can't go wrong with lavender in a sunny spot. I have a lot of big trees and a two-story house so I have to deal with shade more than I'd like but wouldn't want to sacrifice my trees. I hope you'll post some pictures of your garden when it's ready.

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  7. You are off to a great start!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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  8. The french know how to do it and you are on your way too. Love hearing your thoughts and dreams. I help your help in my garden. I have an area that grass will not grow but it is quite large really. I've thought and conferred with several people but never am quite ready to really do something. You have inspired me.

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    1. Hi Bonnie, thank you for asking my advice. You have several options for your area. One of my favorites in a dry stream bed. You can meander it through the space with smaller river biscuits, then edge with big ones. Looks very natural. Maybe plant some bulbs here and there along the edge. Another option is a fountain with gravel surrounding it or a firepit with some comfy chairs around it. Good luck!

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  9. I think you should plant both a vine and flowers around the fountain! I think that's what they would do in France. I would agree with some one up above, it seems the key is that all the French things look old and worn! You could search on Ebay for a vintage French tablecloth (assuming they are a good deal!)

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    1. Thanks Angelina. Great advice. I'm thinking of planting a sweet autumn clematis (white blossoms, late summer). Of course, I could change my mind by tomorrow! Will watch for a tablecloth. Merci!

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  10. So pretty and so inspiring. Our backyard is a mess right now! We are building a pond...it will get pretty soon for you and me both. :) I love your fountain!

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    1. Hi Stacey and thanks for your kind words. Can't wait to see your pond.

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  11. Amazing transformation. Looking beautiful. I will be anxious to see your photo's of the finish.

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    1. Thanks Valerie. Hope you'll come back for another visit when it's finished.

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  12. Amazing transformation. Looking beautiful. I will be anxious to see your photo's of the finish.

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  13. I think your patio is going to be amazing. I look forward to seeing your patio in a few weeks. Thanks for sharing and linking. Have a beautiful day, Pat.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  14. I can definitely see it, here is to hoping your warmer weather comes your way for flowers too. Thanks so much for joining the Dishing It & Digging It Link Party.

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    1. Thanks Christine. I'm so ready for warmer weather and planting season. Patience grasshopper!

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  15. Love your inspiration! The fountain, pillows and plants are a nice addition. Thanks for sharing at DI&DI.

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    1. Thanks Linda. Hope you visit again when it's finished.

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  16. Just beautiful! Thanks for sharing at HSH!

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  17. Your patio is off to a great start - I can't wait to see it overflowing with pretty blooms!

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    1. Thank you MM! Come back in a few weeks and watch out for those bears!!

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