the parterres - a one year update - MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME


The parterres in front of the house were first created 18 months ago, so this is their second summer.   If you are interested you can read the back posts about creating the parterres and choosing the planting schemes, here , here and here

It feels like my readers have been closely involved with these parterres, and with the design of the bed in front of the terrace  I was amazed at the response when I asked for planting suggestions, and tips for maintenance.


A year on, I thought you may like to hear how things are going, and maybe share your own experience with similar projects.   Have you noticed how gardeners love to share?  Be it seedlings, fruit from the potager or simply advice on what to do, I love this gardening community.

Having hummed and haahed about the edging for the parterres for ages, I finally chose not to put in the box hedging.  There is a big problem with box blight in our area and I was afraid of importing young plants carrying the disease, and seeing it spread to the mature box that we already have here.

Instead I went for variegated lamium (an ornamental nettle), mostly using small cuttings from a plant here.   Was this a good idea?   Well, if you like an unruly, slightly invasive but nevertheless pretty and romantic edging then yes it was.  If you prefer the stricter more formal outline that traditionally accompanies a parterre, then no!  lamium is to be avoided at all costs!


In the centre of each parterre I planted a weeping white rose called White Dorothy.  They flower in July through to the first frosts and they look great, but I have discovered that they get very top heavy, especially in the rain, and need some serious support

At the end of last summer I was over generous in scattering Nigella and Jacobs Ladder seeds over the parterres, so this year we got a blue jungle of flowers that was pretty but tended to hide the careful grey and white colour scheme beneath

I think this is what gardening and garden design is all about.  Choosing our plants with love and care, encouraging them to do their best, and then stepping back to see how our plans work out.


 If you have a garden planning story to tell us, please feel free to share in the comments below – thank you for reading me, I hope you are enjoying your garden or window planting wherever you are.


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