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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Design on Friday 14

Friday, April 21, 2017

~ G A R D E N ~ 
Window Boxes 

How do we know what French design is? For those of us who love French design, how do we decide how to create our flower gardens to replicate French style? Traveling to France to see gardens first hand is the best way, but what if travel is not an option? 

And for those fortunate to travel to France, once we get home, how do we remember what we saw? Or, how do we discover what we overlooked while traveling? 

P H O T O G R A P H S 

Photographs taken in France help us recognize French design and allow us to study the French style repeatedly. Occasionally, the camera captures something our mind's eye overlooked at the time, but is revealed in a photograph. Each Friday, Botanic Bleu shares photos taken in France and then, shares photos of ways to incorporate similar French designs into our own homes and gardens. 

Sarlat, France

Balconies filled with flowers are not exclusively French style. The world over, gardeners fill whatever available space they have with flowers, herbs, vines, and greenery, many times in small patios or balconies of small city apartments. 

Yet... this scene clearly exudes French style and is one of my favorite photos from France over the years. Window boxes filled with trailing pink geraniums paired with the ochre stone walls is one of the prettiest color combinations. 

Paris, France 
Window boxes create instant gardens in the smallest spaces and do not require balconies, only a small ledge from which to hang. 

Rue Cler, Paris, France 

Geraniums are a favorite of French gardeners, both for their homes and for their businesses. Doesn't this collection of red geranium window boxes make you want to stay at this hotel? 

Back home, geraniums have always been one of my favorite flowers for spring and summer, also. With little maintenance, geraniums provide blooms all year until frost. 

Our porch has a plant balcony that extends beyond the roof so the plants can get sunlight and rain. 
Seeing all the French window boxes last year was inspiration for adding flower boxes with white geraniums to our porch. 

On either sides of the stairs leading from the front walkway to the porch are wire flower boxes with white geraniums and myrtle topiaries. 

Each wire box has a curved center section and is lined with coir matting. Instead of planting the flowers directly into the flower box, each plant remains in a plastic grower's pot for several reasons. One is to help retain moisture. 

The plants in individual plastic pots, instead of the entire wire flower box, can be rotated to promote even growth and blooming. 

If necessary, the plants can be switched from one window box to the other in case some plants get too much sun or shade. 

These plants are on the shady side of the porch railing, and we can see them from the breakfast table through the sunspace windows. 

Window boxes are an easy, quick way to add a little French-inspired flower garden to a window, balcony, deck, or porch. Plus, changing flowers for each season keeps the small garden fresh and beautiful. 

Are you looking for ways to have an authentic touch of French style? Then visit Botanic Bleu on Fridays to go to the source through snapshots of French architecture, houses, textiles, metal work, food, woodwork, landscapes... and discover inspiration for creating your own 

 French-inspired garden and home.