terrace design and big french pots!

by Sharon Santoni
[blank]Our terrace extension is finally nearly finished – only 4 months behind schedule ๐Ÿ™‚ …. – and I am thinking about how we’ll use the bigger space.
I have always used plenty of pots on the terrace, to break the straight lines and to bring the green and the flowers closer to the house.ย  I suppose it is a fairly English garden look, with plenty of flowers, strawberries in pots, sweet peas growing up canes …ย  you get the picture.[blank]
[blank]But now we have a little more space, and now that my garden is taking shape after our remodelling, I am wondering whether I should keep it less busy.ย  More pared down.
Of course, what you do with a terrace, depends a lot on what else is going on around…
If you have a chรขteau surrounded by 300 year old trees, then you don’t need much in the way of pots and flowers to make your terrace look good![blank]
[blank]and if you look out over a view that is so beautiful, that you could be standing in a pile of mud, it wouldn’t matter …. then you probably want to keep the terrace as pared down as possible;[blank]
[blank]but sometimes you can have a stunning house with a stunning view and still findย  a way to place a couple of spectacular potsย  to great effect, like at our friends house here, and his pots of pale blue plumbago….[blank]
[blank]so what do you think I should do?
keep it busy and flowery and family style,
or go chic and pared down and altogether more grown up?[blank]
[blank]

picture 1 google, 4 chateau de moissac, all other photos taken here and at friends homes

73 comments

Mary Palumbo Collings June 25, 2013 - 9:17 pm

Ha ha, I can't help you as I am having the same problem deciding what to do around my big, new farm table… Whatever you decide i'm sure will be beautiful..

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Champagne Sunday June 25, 2013 - 9:27 pm

Great inspiration!

Cheers! from,
http://www.mychampagnesunday.com

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La Table De Nana June 25, 2013 - 9:32 pm

All the photos are beautiful..
I like pared down to visit .. but live with cottage gardens and need that:)My season is so short..I feel I have to garden large:)
The plumbago is gorgeous in pots isn't it?

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artemanoCReativ June 25, 2013 - 9:44 pm

Keep it like it is – flowery and family style. It has its own caracter.

Mil besitos, Christl

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marty (A Stroll Thru Life) June 25, 2013 - 9:45 pm

I love it both ways, but I really love flowers, so that would be me. Hugs, Marty

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Emm June 25, 2013 - 9:50 pm

Lovely pictures; you are so inspiring with your flowers (love the sweet peas on canes). Why not a combination approach? Some flowery family style for a while (good for the bees for summer), then gradually paring it down, so you don't have the shock of sudden visual change.

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ourlittleplaceinthesun June 25, 2013 - 10:21 pm

I love both looks but feel more comfortable surrounded by flowers. Your last photo has me wanting to sit down with good company and have a glass of wine ๐Ÿ™‚

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Terra June 25, 2013 - 10:42 pm

I vote for busy, you can not have too many flowers, and your friend's plumbagos would look wonderful in large containers. I like their shade of blue.

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Anonymous June 25, 2013 - 10:54 pm

Flowers! Pared down is good for hotels. Home is where the heart is……and the flowers! Loving your blog down in the Deep South – Alabama, USA. ๐Ÿ™‚

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sharon santoni at my french country home June 25, 2013 - 10:57 pm

I'll check in to see what you decide upon Mary

xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home June 25, 2013 - 10:58 pm

thank you!

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sharon santoni at my french country home June 25, 2013 - 10:59 pm

the plumbago is indeed gorgeous, but that garden is in the south of france, so it does better there than in Normandy

thank you for your comment
xx

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Ami June 25, 2013 - 11:29 pm

No question about it. Flowery. It's inviting and friendly.

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Bonnie June 25, 2013 - 11:30 pm

Oh I like it busy, busy, busy. Your view is breathtaking.

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Mise June 25, 2013 - 11:33 pm

Busy and flowery and family style to be sure. It is exactly what I hope to achieve with my terrace, whose expanse has defeated me till this year, when I am fighting back with pots and pots and pots. The French do terracotta beautifully, and your own terrace looks ever so inviting.

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Anonymous June 25, 2013 - 11:34 pm

I don't think pared down is more 'grown up', it is just a different style ! From reading your blog I think the flowery look is more 'you'. It can still be sophisticated depending on the planting – large pots and topiary.

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Anonymous June 26, 2013 - 12:09 am

Flowers! You make the most glorious floral displays! Now, unless, when you "look" at landscape ideas and are always drawn to … I would think it was flowers, but you know yourself best. By the by, I am going to buy big pots to put blue plumbago's in. Thanks for the idea. Best Regards! Laurie' * I hope you keep the flowers and please show us your new landscape!

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Tamms @ Amelie's Farmhouse June 26, 2013 - 12:11 am

I agree with an earlier poster: I love to visit more formal gardens but love living with the informal, flowery, natural ones. We are planning a huge outdoor patio next year on our farmhouse and I plan on "cluttering" it up somewhat with lots of goodies.

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Anonymous June 26, 2013 - 12:31 am

From another Southern girl. Family and flowers are the way! Plus wine tastes better surrounded by the beauty!

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Anonymous June 26, 2013 - 12:38 am

Keep it flowery & colorful – more is more. Cant imagine Monet's garden as streamlined & minimalist & Van Gogh paintings without color – no flowers to smell come summer…ha – enjoy the garden. If you didnt have the space, thats one thing…
Enjoy –

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White Weathered Hutch, June 26, 2013 - 12:47 am

Oh thanks for sharing….you know the old saying "less is more"!

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mariondee-designs June 26, 2013 - 12:50 am

Personally the more flowery pots the better! I love the idea of sweat peas on canes it's so pretty. have fun, Maryann

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Lorrie June 26, 2013 - 12:54 am

I love big pots of flowers. At the same time I admire the pared down look. I think the best solution is to have two terraces with different styles. But to choose just one – I'd go with family friendly and colorful.

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Anonymous June 26, 2013 - 1:52 am

Hi Sharon I fell in love with French Anduze pots but to get your hands on one it's about AUD2000-antique of course so I found a garden supplier who had them as seconds (not the real deal of course) so I went crazy that was a few years ago we planted all different coloured geraniums. I can't imagine the courtyard without them. I do admire the pared down look. Till next time Regards Esther from Sydney. PS If I'm going to be honest I would go for the look of the third picture if you are a busy person or my age you need to make it easier and less time consuming…more time to enjoy.

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Tara Dillard June 26, 2013 - 2:26 am

No worries, you can have both.

Pair down as the main setting which always remains, go fluffy as the whim arrives with extra pots.

A main pot should be so fabulous it can stay empty, filled with flowers only as desired.

A large pot with huge hydrangea was 'shoved' aside during a stone addition to my patio this spring. Now, it's blooming and thrilling my soul. And I would have never thought to place it there.

Garden & Be Well, XO TAra

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Blondie's Journal June 26, 2013 - 2:50 am

I definitely think you should go free flowing with your flowers, it suits your pretty home! And I just adore all of your pots, the flowers AND the pots!! ๐Ÿ™‚

XO,
Jane

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Barbara June 26, 2013 - 2:54 am

Sharon,
I have to agree ~ flowery and friendly and family style!!! I simply adore all the lovely flowers!!!
Barbara xoxo

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Anonymous June 26, 2013 - 3:39 am

Last year I doubled the size of my patio. Then, I promptly filled it up with furniture and pots of annual color. It became a larger version of the unlivable space that I had before. Last weekend, I removed everything and started over. I only put back the black iron furniture and clay pots. I filled the pots with green only (boxwood and ivy). I placed the furniture as you would a long narrow living room, with seating areas at both ends and a large round table in the middle. The patio is a much more serene and welcoming space. Your home is always so beautiful, I'm sure that whatever you choose will be lovely. Charlotte by Design

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Betsy Brock June 26, 2013 - 4:37 am

busy and flowery! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Katherine June 26, 2013 - 4:57 am

There is always the compromise – put some pots, but not as many as you have had before. Keep the same variety of plants in every pot so that it gives a unified look – so somewhat chic and grown up, but still cottage and cozy because the pots are close by.
You have wonderful style – that is evident in every floral arrangement you have displayed. Enjoy playing on the new patio.

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Magnolia Verandah June 26, 2013 - 5:08 am

I think I agree with Katerine – less can be so stylish.

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donna baker June 26, 2013 - 5:56 am

I live in zone 7 and my plumbago comes back every year. It is the best blue. This year, I planted Lily of the Nile which has the same blue color. I do hope they return next year.

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CWoodyard June 26, 2013 - 6:20 am

Chic and pared down with a little cottage added, just a touch!

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sharon santoni at my french country home June 26, 2013 - 6:55 am

Thank you Christl, it may well find its own way back there!

xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home June 26, 2013 - 6:56 am

Hi Marty, flowers are comforting, although I do enjoy the strawberries within arms reach too

xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home June 26, 2013 - 6:56 am

good idea Emm, and btw, there is nothing easier that growing sweet peas up canes, all they ask for is a bit of string to hang on to!

xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home June 26, 2013 - 6:57 am

well that is certainly what happens a lot at that table!

xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home June 26, 2013 - 6:57 am

just love that plumbago blue!

xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home June 26, 2013 - 6:58 am

Yup, I see your point. I think that even if I started pared down, the flowers would just creep back in!

xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home June 26, 2013 - 6:58 am

๐Ÿ™‚

xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home June 26, 2013 - 6:59 am

the chateau with the view is not mine Bonnie! It is the chateau de Moissac in the south of France – breathtaking indeed!

xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home June 26, 2013 - 6:59 am

Hey Mise, nice to see you back, we are all missing your wonderful writing on the blog!!

xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home June 26, 2013 - 7:01 am

well thank you! but I still think that the balls of box looks very grown up

xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home June 26, 2013 - 7:01 am

I'll put up some pictures later on in the season when everything has settled into place

xx

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Maywyn Studio June 26, 2013 - 7:05 am

Lovely photographs
I'd want the terrace to feel like a comfy summer wrap, cheery and colorful within a respectful bug and bee distance.

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Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon June 26, 2013 - 7:13 am

You seem to be doing well without my input, but I do love all your flowers. I would probably lose all control. Is there any other flower the same color as the plumbago that grows well in your area? I think the periwinkle color fits well with all the pinks.

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Marianne June 26, 2013 - 8:09 am

…………………it depends on how much time you can bring on it……………….
a terrace full with big pots and surrounded with some roses, lavenders and trimmed evergreens…. would be a gardener's choise (mine)
love your pics ๐Ÿ™‚

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Marina Pรฉrez June 26, 2013 - 8:15 am

How do you feel better?

Marina

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PamLuvsPink June 26, 2013 - 8:32 am

Hi Sharon!!!

It's been to long since I visited!!!

I love having plants all around. I guess I'll never grow-up because I always go over the top and somehow make it work.

I love your friends, Blue Plumbago….It's so gorgeous of a plant!!!

Enjoy the rest of the week!!!

Pam
xox

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Jennifer Clark June 26, 2013 - 9:51 am

I am always in favor of more flowers. Consider the style of your house. Cottage style seems to call for billows of flowers.

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Gigi June 26, 2013 - 10:00 am

I vote for busy flowery and friendly! Yay! Soo soo pretty ๐Ÿ™‚ Gigi

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Anonymous June 26, 2013 - 11:46 am

Having had the pleasure of staying at your welcoming home and meeting you and your delightful family, I have no hesitation in saying flowery and family style please. Kind regards, Deidre.

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Laura's Rose Garden June 26, 2013 - 12:09 pm

Hello Sharon,
I would continue to "keep it busy and flowery and family style". I think it is more welcoming and fun!
Kind regards, Laura in Ontario, Canada

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deedledumpling June 26, 2013 - 12:47 pm

Use Your talents to the best advantage. Feed your soul, and those around you.

This translates into: You are unique and it shows in your gorgeous styling. Use those talents to feed your own soul and those of your family, friends and guests. Why keep this talent you have from showing to others in your home and garden. Do what feeds your Bliss.

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Mary Keebler June 26, 2013 - 2:09 pm

Hi ๐Ÿ™‚
Although I just recently found your blog, I have since absorbed every page! It's clear that when it comes to your home, garden and lifestyle you seem to follow your heart — and it shows in the warm and comforting settings you've shared with us. While "styles" come and go, following your internal compass creates authenticity . . . and you have that in spades! Do what comes naturally to you, and it's sure to not disappoint. Thanks for bringing your world to us ๐Ÿ™‚

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Anonymous June 26, 2013 - 2:26 pm

The busy colorful pots are a warm balance to the formal atmosphere of the exterior. But follow your senses and they will lead you.

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Pura Vida June 26, 2013 - 3:59 pm

oh my what beauty!

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Karen Harvey Cox June 26, 2013 - 4:22 pm

Your sense of staging is lovely. You should follow what you think. Everything about your home is beautiful. Your photographs are stunning.

Karen

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karen lacombe-fritz June 26, 2013 - 4:25 pm

Beautiful terrace. I would have lots of blue flowers. With a dash of pink.

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Castles Crowns and Cottages June 26, 2013 - 6:30 pm

This is the look I am after at my little French cottage! The white garden furniture, white flowers in urns and pots and little details are all the secrets put together for the French feel; you hit it just right! Anita

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cindy newcomer June 26, 2013 - 7:40 pm

Maybe this year flowers and next year, something else! Is beautiful both ways…

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Roxane June 26, 2013 - 7:40 pm

My problem seems to be that I usually like ALL gardens, lol. It's hard for me to pin down a style that's my favorite, so I'm definitely not much help suggesting changes to you! I could happily spend time in any of those gardens. I am a boxwood & topiary fanatic and I have that same photo of Ginny Magher's house in Provence with the potted boxwood on one of my Pinterest boards. I can't do those here in NH, they wouldn't survive the winter & I think my family would rebel if I tried to move them inside due to the scent. My next project is an area under our maple trees, I envision French style with pea gravel as shown in photos #3 & #4 and potted shade plants. Did you extend your terrace out from the house into your lawn area? Did you have to dig up the flowers beds all around it? That's quite a job if you did!

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peggy braswell June 26, 2013 - 11:46 pm

Adore big pots(little, yuck) with topiary + you have amazing taste + anything you choose will be fine. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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Home builders Nsw June 27, 2013 - 7:50 am

Sounds like some builders wrote this add and then they go on to put comments on to sway you to the new homes which all are not built the best fast and cheap no matter what the building codes are!

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Wild Oak Designs June 27, 2013 - 5:16 pm

I adore your home and garden! It is like a fairy tale setting and what all the design books work so hard to copy.
Thank you so much for sharing!
Nancy

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Anonymous June 27, 2013 - 5:23 pm

OMG!! Your place is so beautiful, anything you do would look wonderful! But my preference is always more homey, comfy surroundings and so I would keep the pots and greenery near the house. Sometimes people focus on the far (the views in the distance…) and sometimes one just wants to enjoy the immediate (the pots in front of their face!) And always when I visit (either in person or on film) huge villas or estates, that is one change I would make – softening the austerity of the front entrance of the "house". Beautiful flowers and greens have a welcoming effect on visitors I think – that and your two dogs!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ So glad I found your blog, it feeds my soul from day to day. Thanks for sharing your life – kati

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tia maria luiza June 28, 2013 - 12:56 am

Flowery, flowery, flowery and family style, and it will be forever and uniquely chic!
Regards, happy weekend!

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Sara Marie June 28, 2013 - 5:32 am

I love cozy, flowery, family style. I suppose it's more work, but I love the look much better.

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Bente Holst June 28, 2013 - 5:50 pm

I think you should keep the flowery and family style. It is so cozy and beautiful! – I've been in the South of France for 10 days, near St. Tropez. It was wonderful and so many flowers and beautiful colours ๐Ÿ™‚

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Nib's End June 28, 2013 - 7:33 pm

I meant to chime in with my own view, truly I did, but I was distracted by the charming little flowers in the terra cotta pot beneath the lavender in the last photo. Could you introduce us, or are they too shy for zone 5?

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Kathryn Bechen Ink June 29, 2013 - 4:08 am

Beautiful!

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Billig WOW Gold Kaufen June 29, 2013 - 5:32 am

Hello there Sharon I chop down fond of People from france Anduze containers however to obtain your practical one it comes down to AUD2000-antique obviously i really identified the garden dealer that experienced these while a few moments (not really the real thing of course) i really travelled crazy that's not too long ago we grown all different tinted geraniums. I am unable to think of the courtyard without them. I really do enjoy the pared down appear. Till the next time Respect Esther coming from Sydney. Ps3 In case I will be trustworthy I might go for the design of the 3rd image an advanced active individual as well as how old irrrve become you need to make it simpler and fewer time-consuming…added time to enjoy.Billig Diablo 3 Goldrs gold for sale

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