French Gardens

Versailles - Allée des MarmousetsThe gardens of Versailles are remarkable to experience in person. The gardens cover roughly 800 hectares of land, which is landscaped in the classic French style.  he meticulous manicured lawns inspire millions, as they are the most visited place in France, and receive more than six million visitors a year. 210,000 million flowers are planted annually, 200,000 trees and 50 fountains with more than 620 jets of water.  Sculptures and fountains accent the beautiful hedges and grasses in a symmetrical pattern. Rows of trees, hedges, fountains are seen lined up in rows, and fountains are duplicated for sheer regal impact. The gardens dating from the time of Louis XIV and still are using much of the same network of hydraulics.  From late spring to early autumn, the fountains in the gardens are in full play.

When Louis XIII purchased the lands from Jean-François de Gondi in 1632, the formal gardens were laid out west of the château. It is been said that Claude Mollet and Hilaire Masson designed the gardens, which remained relatively unchanged until the expansion took place under Louis XIV in the 1660s.

With the departure of the king and court from Versailles in 1715 following the death of Louis XIV, the palace and garden’s building campaign came to a halt. In 1722, Louis XV and the court returned to Versailles, and Louis XV did not undertake the costly building campaigns at Versailles that Louis XIV had. During the reign of Louis XV, the only significant addition to the gardens was the completion of the Bassin de Neptune.

Upon Louis XVI’s ascension to the throne, the gardens of the Versailles underwent a radical transformation that recalled the fourth building campaign of Louis XIV.  An attempt was made to change the whole arrangement to gardens into an English-style garden that failed miserably. The whole English esthetic was abandoned and the gardens were replanted in the French style. Louis XVI ordered a labor-intensive design which the hedging were clipped in such a way that they formed walls in the rows of identical trees.

In the French formal garden, a bosquet is a formal look that consists of at least five identical trees or species which are planted. Bosquets are traditionally paved with gravel, as in those days the lawnmower wasn’t invented, and the maintenance of grass was demanding.

Read more about the amazing gardens at Versailles at Wikipedia.  Borrow some of the ideas from the French gardens for your own home.

Picture Credit- Romeo Designs Photostream

French Garden Arrangement -French Garden Arrangement – Visit

Versailles Gardens

The Orangerie in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles with the Pièce d’Eau des Suisses in the background

French Garden TablesVery Nice Garden Table with Old Marble Top and painted Cast Iron Base

Versailles Gardens

Topiary gardens are considered the height of luxury, and you can duplicate this look in your own garden or entry way. Outdoor landscaping was encouraged by architect Louis Le Vau, and landscape architect André Le Nôtre, who was the chief designer of the Versailles Palace. How can you incorporate some of the magnificent gardens of France?

Topiary plants are easy and simple to grow, and will provide you an outstanding unique garden if you want your outdoors to look just as beautiful as inside your home. Building up the architecture in your gardens will allow you to feel like your home is twice as big.


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