If you’ve ever been to Paris, then you’ve probably noticed that the city is filled with secret gardens. Every single corner you turn, every street you follow to its winding end, every courtyard you cross leads to the same thing. Patches of green that glitter in the Parisian sunlight like molten green gold. So it was only natural to take this wonderful and romantic city and use it as inspiration for your own backyard. Here are a few ideas on how you can make your own garden rooms feel like France.
1. Symmetry can be Your Best Friend
Of course, it’s not obligatory, but symmetry is often found in France’s most famous gardens. Just take a look at the Tuileries Gardens which stand next to the Louvre or the even more notorious ones at the Palace of Versailles. The hedges are clipped into perfect cubes with angles so right and rigid you could solve a math problem using them.
There are rows upon rows of trees standing in line like soldiers paving the alleys. Not to mention that the shrubberies are usually cut in circles that are not allowed to go unruly. You can use these ideas in your own garden. But be careful because it takes a lot of work and time to keep them up!
2. Use Plenty of Metal Pieces
What is the one thing Paris is most known for? The Eiffel tower, of course! And what is it made of? Metal. That’s the beauty of Paris. A very old city with stunning architecture engulfed in masses of greenery and a gigantic metal spire connecting it to the sky. Use this theme in your own backyard and add as many metal pieces as you can.
Evidently, you don’t have to erect an Eiffel tower next to your garden rooms because that might be a little inappropriate or even tacky. But you can decorate your garden with iron benches or iron pergolas that will keep the Paris design alive. Add some tabletops made of zinc, metallic watering cans here and there as well as corrugated planters. They will contrast sharply with the flowers and plants and attract attention to them.
3. The Mirror Effect in Your Garden
The palace at Versailles has the famous Hall of Mirrors. There are 357 mirrors in there to be precise, all of them reflecting the light coming from outside as well as the gold on the walls, furniture, ceiling, and chandelier. If you’re a fan of La Grand Galerie, you can reproduce that effect in your own backyard using a super simple trick. We’re talking about bowls of water.
Of course, you can dream bigger than that if your budget allows it and put in pool, a pond or even a small fountain in front of your garden rooms. However, if your finances are more on the ‘petite’ side, than go for large, ceramic bowls of water. Add some succulents as well. The bowls will act in the same way as a mirror would, reflecting the light and connecting the sky to your garden. The effect will be mesmerizing!
4. Hide and Seek With The Garden Rooms
This is a super simple way to keep the eye focused on the flowers and greenery in your garden rather than on the hardscape. As beautiful as the design of your garden rooms may be, that’s not how the French do it. They hide the hardscape by engulfing it in a literal curtain of their favorite flowers. It can be ivy, roses, sweet honeysuckle or any other plants you favor the most.
You can help by painting your garden rooms grey or dark green so that they blend in even more. And, in this way, you win a secluded corner in your garden where you can relax without anyone knowing you’re there. Secret garden rooms in your beautiful French backyard!
5. Roses can be Mix and Matched
When cultivating their garden, a lot of people labor under the false impression that you can only plant roses of the same color in one place. Parisians have a completely different design idea. In fact, if you walk the streets of Paris, you will notice that many of their gardens are filled with mix and matched roses. It’s as if these gorgeous flowers were simply allowed to go rampant and take over their backyard and garden rooms!
That’s not the case, of course! Everything is planned out, but they make it seem as if it’s flower chaos. All you have to do is choose different color roses and plant them at the same time. You can do that because roses look essentially the same, except for the color. Choose contrasting shades such as yellow, red, and white. Bonus points if you can find pink or orange roses!
6. Gravel Path Instead of Concrete
The French aren’t huge fans of concrete like the Americans or cobbled streets like the British. But they do love their gravel paths. So you can take a cue from them and install one in your own backyard.
Create a walk way leading from the main house to your garden rooms and another one to the gate. Lay it with gravel that will feel soft and crunchy beneath your feet every time you walk on it. Plus, gravel has the added benefit of preventing runoffs. Not to mention how romantic and Parisian it looks if you have well-trimmed bushes and trees in your garden!
Bringing Paris in your backyard is all about taking control over nature. The French like right angles, introducing metal elements in the gardens, hiding the hardscape such as their garden rooms, and making way for as much greenery as possible. But the result is utterly mesmerizing. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a café late in your very own French garden after following these tips on how to make your garden rooms feel like France. And let us know in the comment section below which one was your favorite!