Monday, May 23, 2016

What Makes a Garden French Country?

A French Country garden? 

You don't have to have an intricate parterre or an old limestone fountain to get that look 
although that would be wonderful, wouldn't it? 
It doesn't even have to include a lovely old palace or acres of tended flowers 
like this garden at Luxembourg. 
Well, maybe just a small palace would be okay. 


While visiting France, I loved the sound of walking on gravel paths in the gardens, 
through museums courtyards and along the wide path leading up to the Eiffel Tower. 
There are acres and acres of gravel paths at Versailles like these.


Let's think on a slightly smaller scale.

One of the first things I did in my garden upon returning home 
was dig out some grass in the front yard.
And then, a little more grass. Until all the grass was gone.

Then I designed curved pea gravel paths in my front and back yards.  
The edges are softened with thyme, creeping phlox, wild geraniums and soapwort.
The front lawn has been completely replaced with a garden.


This walkway curves around the porch through a chippy metal arch to the side garden. 
French Country gardens are a blend of cottage style and formal design 
with curvy lines and a lush wildflower look. 


When I first purchased this house, the yard was entirely grass.  
Now the gardens have taken over and encircle the house. 

Gardens in the south of France often contain Mediterranean plants such as 
lavender, catmint, rosemary and sage, giving the landscape a purplish/silver hue. 


The back yard path twists and weaves gently to the back gate. 
It's filled with "red chip," broken pieces of flagstone that match the stone patio. 

Roxy, the little photo bomber, prefers a grassy area so I left a kidney-shaped patch of grass 
in the back yard especially for her! How appropriate, huh?


A dry stream bed with a brick path lends a natural touch.
And more curves.


A bistro table and chairs tucked under the old crabapple tree, enhances that French Country feeling and provides a romantic spot to admire the sunset with a glass of wine.


Add a recirculating wall fountain for a soft soothing sound, 
some candlelight in hanging lanterns, and voila
Bringing French Country Home!


Now if I just had a rooster or two. 
Guess this curious squirrel will have to do. 


If you enjoyed your visit to my garden, I hope you'll follow me by email.

61 comments:

  1. Pat, isn't it wonderful that some of the French elements are the same as we can use here. I love the beautiful river rocks and fountain. Your puppy sitting out by the table is so sweet. :)

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    1. Thank you Stacey. Yep, she's a sweetie alright.

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    2. Thank you Stacey. Yep, she's a sweetie alright.

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  2. Very pretty! I'd say that many (not all) French gardens have stones, like stone walls. Topiaries are popular, as are espalier trees. And symmetry. An architect pointed out all the symmetries in our renovation--all the doors and windows line up, whether parallel to the street or perpendicular to it. It's for lines of sight and, indoors, for cross-ventilation. In a garden, the same principle of lines of sight hold.
    Of course, there are many kinds of gardens, from small and informal to sprawling and very formal, so there are many options for incorporating a French look.

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    1. I always love hearing from you and appreciate your tips. I love stone walls but my garden is pretty small. I'm planning some new things on my patio (future post when plants get a little bigger). Thanks for visiting my garden.

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    2. I always love hearing from you and appreciate your tips. I love stone walls but my garden is pretty small. I'm planning some new things on my patio (future post when plants get a little bigger). Thanks for visiting my garden.

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  3. So perfectly lovely! I'm your newest follower. Hope you will follow my blog, too! Susan

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    1. Thank you so much Susan. Glad you're following and I'll definitely check out your blog.

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  4. What a beautiful garden. Love all the garden rooms you have created. The arbors are so pretty.
    Enjoyed my visit to your lovely garden!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Sonia. I hope you visit again soon.

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  5. Your garden is beautiful! Love all your pathways and plants spilling over. Gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you Cecillia. Some of my creeping thyme died out along the paths this winter. I need to replace it with something?? Glad you enjoyed your visit.

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  6. Your garden is lovely and must be such a pleasure to behold.

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    1. Thank you so much. From your photo, it looks like your garden is a beauty too.

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  7. Lovely, I need to plant more herbs. Love that you have the gravel paths, I remember visiting Paris and those gravel walkways to the Eiffel Tower. Roxy is a cutie! New follower on Bloglovin.

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    1. Thank you Carole. Remember how dirty our feet were after all that gravel? Ha.

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  8. Pat-you have created a beautiful haven. I love all of the winding paths and stone elements.
    I need that fountain!

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    1. Thank you Laura. I love the sound of the fountain. Just planted honeysuckle around it and hope it vines up around the fountain.

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  9. Pat, it's just lovely! I adore paths in the garden. Your pea gravel one is perfect. Today a gal visited my home for the first time. She glanced out the window and said it looked like she was looking at an English Garden. Best compliment ever! Thanks for sharing with the Garden Party.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thanks Jann. Your garden does look like an English Garden (your recent garden party!). So pretty.

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  10. Thanks so much for joining us at the Garden Party!
    Have a lovely week,
    Jemma

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    1. Thank you Jemma. Hope you're having fun gardening.

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  11. I could spend hours in your garden. What a delightful space! I think you did a fantastic job designing and creating this French Country garden. I'm a subcriber! '-)

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    1. Thank you so much for subscribing Sarah and for your sweet comments.

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  12. Very pretty and so serene. It must be a joy to walk through your gardens and then sit awhile.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by AnnMarie. I walk through the gardens every morning with a cup of coffee but I don't do much sitting! Will have to try that. Just kidding.

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  13. Oh that squirrel is full of charm. Surely his name is Jacques. Thank you for being a lovely flower that joined our garden party.

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    1. I love that name and will start calling the squirrel Jacques! Thanks Laura.

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  14. Pretty pathways and abundant nature, as pretty as it can be.
    Thank you for sharing this inspiration with us at TOHOT.
    Jemma

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    1. Thank you Jemma. You always have something nice to say.

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  15. I have just been to France myself and enjoyed seeing their gardens there. Your garden is full of inspiration....Christine

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    1. Thank you Christine. I'm so envious that you got to go to France recently. I'm glad you liked my garden.

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  16. Pat, I just love your garden! The dry stream bed is so pretty. I love those different coloured rocks and I always try to find some when visiting my relatives in New Brunswick. Your garden is very romantic and I know I would feel right at home there. Thank you for sharing with us and have a lovely day.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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    1. Hi Sandi and thanks for your sweet comments. I'd hope you would feel at home in my garden.

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  17. Dear Pat:
    I do love your garden. I just moved from Colorado (22 years) to Missouri and have to restart my garden.....but isn't that part of the fun! Except now at 67 it is hard but the good news - I have lost some weight! Ha! I loved seeing all your photos and look forward to more!

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    1. Oh Bernideen! So glad to hear from you in Missouri. I remember you from Colorado and hope your new garden and home in MO make you happy.

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  18. Dear Pat:
    I do love your garden. I just moved from Colorado (22 years) to Missouri and have to restart my garden.....but isn't that part of the fun! Except now at 67 it is hard but the good news - I have lost some weight! Ha! I loved seeing all your photos and look forward to more!

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  19. Now that is a curious squirrel. Great shot. Your garden is beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Grantham. Yeah, he's cute and curious but I have to put rocks in my pots to keep him from digging out the plants!

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  20. Hi Pat, I am signing up to follow by e-mail, it is my most favorite way, and your garden is so lovely. We need to get rid of some of our lawn to save on water and I might just find some of your ideas perfect. It is very beautiful and I look forward to seeing more and invite you to visit me also. Happy Tuesday..Judy

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    1. Nice to meet you Judy and thank you for subscribing. Seems like I dig up a little more grass each year. Good luck with your landscaping plans.

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  21. Your gardens feel so beautiful and relaxing, Pat! Thanks so much for sharing at Be Inspired. Now I want to get outside and dig in the dirt!

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  22. Your gardens are absolutely beautiful, Pat. I so wish you lived nearby so I could lure you to my house with the promise of tea and scones in the hopes that you would give me suggestions for my yard! I need help! Thanks so much for linking up your delightful posts with us at Vintage Charm :)

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    1. Thanks Diana. I wish I lived near you too. I have a feeling we'd be great friends. Tea and scones sounds tempting and I'd love to help you in your garden. Hugs,

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  23. I love your garden! I'd realy love to see it in person.

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    1. Thanks Jenny. (It looks better in the pictures...Ha!)

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  24. Your garden is lovely Pat and I hope you get to spend many enjoyable hours there. Thank you for sharing your tips for creating a French country garden at Shabbilicious Friday this week. I'm delighted to be featuring you at tomorrow's party.

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    1. Thank you so much Kerranne. I'm thrilled to be featured in your party!

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  25. Just beautiful - I'd say you aced the look !
    Thanks for sharing !

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    1. Thank you Suzan. I hope you visit again soon.

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    2. Thank you Suzan. I hope you visit again soon.

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  26. Just discovered your blog and am no following through bloglovin....hope to see you visit me too. I love French Country Style and in fact my previous home was featured last year in French Country Style magazine! LOVE your garden!

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    1. Hi Penny, it's so nice to meet you. I feel like I'm meeting a rock star! I have that issue of French Country Style and have looked at your feature so many times. Thank you for following me and I will definitely check out your blog. Warm hugs,

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  27. Hello Pat!
    Living along the Front Range, I know how challenging gardening can be, but your garden looks all a bloom and beautiful! You obviously don't have the deer problem I have as they love to graze in my flower beds, but I love them and forgive them when they do. I've had success with catmint and lavender so they also grow in my garden--love their smell!

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