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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Design on Friday 8

Friday, March 3, 2017

~ Garden

Spring is a time to dream of new gardens, new plants, and new design layouts. A perfect time to create a design of your dreams. Do you dream about creating a French style to your home and garden? 

French design can be created with just two plants. Yes, it only takes two plants to give a French style to your home. Two plants give instant French design with no long-term garden plan revisions needed. 

You can buy two plant containers, bags of good potting soil, and two topiary plants to create a beautiful French garden style in less than a half of a day, including buying the materials, bringing them home, and planting the topiaries in their new pots. 


Instant French garden style... 

Plus French garden design can be created in very small spaces and does not require a large yard. Just two planters with single-ball topiaries instantly create French style for townhouses and apartments as well as for homes with large front yards. 

A three-star hotel in Paris is one of thousands of Parisian hotels, businesses, and residences that add beautiful greenery in pots outside their front doors. The look is classical French style, unmistakably French through and through. 

What are the  T W O   K E Y  elements of French style gardening? 
  • Symmetry, symmetry, symmetry! Two French doors, two identical light fixtures, and two identical ball topiaries of the same height and diameter in matching planters are the foundation of this minimal French garden. The two single ball shrubs in identical style planters at the curb extend the design to the street. Finally, the two black metal posts at the curb add more symmetry and repeat the topiary plant design... a perfect ball atop a vertical post. 
  • Sculptured plants are a signature French style. English gardens are known for their blowsy, free-form styles in contrast to manicured symmetrical French gardens. No wild tendrils or ragged natural shapes are allowed in a traditional French style garden.  

Did you notice the eyebrow windows 
above the hotel's entry French doors? 
See French Design on Friday 6 for more about eyebrow windows. 

Use ball topiary myrtle, rosemary, or ivy plants for French style gardening inside also. 

Select two plants with the same shape and height like the middle and right plants shown. 

Place the original plastic grower's pots inside identical planters. Then place the two topiaries to create symmetrical arrangements... 
  • At each end of a fireplace mantel 
  • On stands flanking the front door inside the entryway 
  • At each end of a buffet table 
  • On either side of a dining table centerpiece 
  • On the countertop on either side of the kitchen sink 
  • In front of two windows that are placed symmetrically along a wall 

Double-ball and triple-ball topiaries also provide French style when placed on each side of doors. 

Classic French garden design can be as easy as 
two plants. 

See Tips on French Style Topiaries for suggestions on how to care for topiaries. 


Come back each Friday for more snapshots of French architecture, houses, textiles, metal work, food, woodwork, landscapes... and discover inspiration for creating 

a French-inspired garden and home. 



  1. BEautiful and simple. My favorite kind of ideas!

  2. This weather has me in the mood for new plants! Yours are beautiful. Thanks as usual for the great French design tips.

  3. Been meaning to buy two topiaries for our urns. Yours are gorgeous, Judith.
    I always click away so inspired.
    Lovely weekend.

  4. Great ideas! I LOVE symmetry! When I hired an interior designer years ago she told me I have to ditch the symmetry to make my home more interesting looking. She redid my mantle and every time I looked at it, it felt like I had my shoes on the wrong feet! Have a great weekend, Judit.

  5. It is so amazing how "in sync" we are my friend! It was only last weekend I rearranged our mantle and placed two moss topiaries. Thank you for being such and amazing blog friend, Judith!

  6. I really like the simple symmetry! Calm for the eyes...
    Saturday again, let´s have a great day!

  7. I've always been attracted to topiaries because of their clean lines and the fact that they showcase the pot they're in. Plus, I love rosemary!

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  8. Judith, I know you were a good teacher! I love how you think through design and notice great details. I adore topiaries and symmetry and all things french.
    I do have problems with spider mites with ivy inside and I love fresh plants. Having a view of my porch from my kitchen helps me enjoy my plants outside though.
    Yes, I'm always dreaming about creating a french style to my home and garden. Love french design on Friday.

  9. I love this. I'll haven't tried it but I will.


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