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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Design on Friday 9

Friday, March 10, 2017

~ Garden ~ 
Topiaries - Part 2 

Topiaries are all over France, not just in Paris, and come in all shapes and sizes making them one of the most common of all French designs used in gardening. 

Whether you have a city garden or a country garden, topiaries add French style. With Spring less than two weeks away, now is the time to consider adding topiaries to your landscape... to your garden, your deck, your patio, or your driveway. 

Take a look at photos of topiaries in Sarlat, France for inspiration in designing your own gardens. 

Sarlat, France is one of hundreds of beautiful French towns that survived modernization over the centuries. And is one of my favorite French towns that I visit over and over again. Its creamy-colored old stone buildings line narrow streets designed for horses, carts, carriages, and people. Part of its charm comes from manicured trees trimmed into topiaries along the streets. 

Four cone-shaped topiaries grow in small squares of dirt. Each time I look at this photo, I wonder about the gardener(s) who tend the sculpted trees. 

Are they city gardeners paid by the town of Sarlat, or are they the owners of the building? How often do the trees have to be trimmed? How does the gardener get the trees to be the same shape and size? Is it a natural talent acquired over years of practice, or is there a tool used to help trim them uniformly? Do they have to be watered or is the natural rainfall enough? 

Although we are mainly looking at this photo to see the topiary trees, there is so much more French design to see. 
  • Green vines growing on the building's entry 
  • Stone steps leading to the stone building 
  • Iron grate over the street-level opening 
  • Iron fence around the tree-filled garden 
  • Ironwork in the shape of Xs attached to the stone wall below the garden... so French... 
  • Cobblestone street 
  • Eyebrow arch of the doorway... do you see eyebrow arches everywhere now?  
  • Ancient carved stone boulders with circular openings--- how I would LOVE one of these in my garden! 


Now, take a look at how an American business and an American home-owner have French-inspired designs in their landscapes. 

These French-style topiary trees line the curb to a parking lot for a restaurant in north Texas. 

Topiary trees accent the corners of each section of this north Texas house built in the early 2000s. The entryway has vines growing near the doorway very much like the house in Sarlat, France. 

Each time I look at this French-inspired garden and home with its stone walls, eyebrow arched windows, tile-look shingled roof, and the topiary trees, I think of France. 

That little eyebrow window on the creamy yellow wall steals my heart away to F R A N C E. 

What am I looking for this Spring to add to my landscape? Topiary trees... was there ever any doubt? 

What are you planning to add to your landscape this Spring? 

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. 

Want to see more photos from France to inspire your garden and home?