Awaken to French Parterre Gardens

Bonjour everyone,

The French really know what they’re doing when it comes to parterre gardens. My french awakening to gardens across France was accompanied by a string of magical and unforgettable images.  Mathematical by design with such precision of symmetry and order, French parterre gardens originated in the fifteenth century by the very clever Claude Mollet during the Renaissance. Today, they have made a remarkable reentry into landscaping and still exude a calmness in our modern world of chaos and dilemma.

Look at this gorgeous back garden of a home in Lautrec, down in the south west of France…

We would all like one of these! You too will find them fascinating and truly beautiful. Even  though I deplore control in most other environments, when it comes to ‘French green’ it’s another story altogether, isn’t it?

The French demand for what I term controlled greenery, does not seem to paralyze the human spirit nor my french awakening and you too will discover that they bring a reassurance and calm while otherwise flitting about on your busy tour of France. French gardens in their formality and sophistication, maintain some certainty principle in their resilience to change over time and that in itself is very comforting.

Wander through a formal French garden and you will understand what I mean.

Here’s another garden with topiaries clipped into submission outside the fabulous Musee Goya in Castres…

and some statuesque evergreen obelisks marking the corners of the parterre garden of Versailles definately giving it je nais sais quoi- that unexplainable X factor. Elegant, non?

Getting around this garden by horse drawn carriage can be loads of fun. Take a look here:

But above all, take time to smell the French roses along the way…

and wander barefoot at least at some time!

If you’re a quilter as well as a garden lover, try my very easy quilt pattern which was inspired by the order and symmetry of French gardens.


Order this pattern and more online at or email me at for any enquiries.

Go on. Visit a French garden.

It will inspire you too.

Have a great day everyone!

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

copyright@2011 Therese Waddell




4 Responses to “Awaken to French Parterre Gardens”

  1. But who does the weeding? Le jardinier? 😉

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