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25 Garden Design Ideas from Paris, France

Garden ideas from the most fashionable city in the world. Includes planting combos, trellises, and garden features

Last week my boyfriend Josh and I went to Paris to celebrate our birthdays. He’s a big fan of food and wine (who am I kidding, who isn’t?) and I’m a garden geek so we managed to make sure that we saw both these sides of the city. In fact one complimented the other since it was the calorie overload of French cheese that powered our walks through the green spaces of one of the most romantic places in the world.

My three favourite areas for gardening inspiration turned out to be the Jardin des Plantes, the main botanical garden of France, the Jardin du Luxembourg, the most popular park in the city, and the strangely beautiful Père Lachaise cemetery. Each was completely different but each held gardening ideas that I think all of us can be inspired by. This list of twenty-five images and observations can be used to help design gardens of all sizes while showcasing the diversity of garden design in this beautiful city.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 1. Build beautiful homes for Wildlife

1. Build beautiful homes for Wildlife

Insect hotels can be made using bamboo canes, old pieces of wood, drilled logs, bricks, and anything else you’ve ever noticed bugs and bees hiding in. By encouraging wildlife in your garden, you’ll get their added help in pollination and natural pest-control.

Herbal Courses To Choose From

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 15. Vegetables are beautiful!

2. Vegetables mixed with Ornamentals

Can you spot the Ruby Chard growing in this border? Edible plants aren’t just practical, they can be attractive too so consider integrating them into your ornamental growing spaces.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 24. Vegetables in Design

3. Pumpkin Pot

Cinderella isn’t the only one who should be able to use vegetables in home design and transport! This pumpkin pot caught my eye through a shop window and I’ve been thinking of it ever since. I’ve since found it online at both Amazon.com and in the UK at Amazon.co.uk. There’s a white one too!

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 3. Geometric structure

4. Geometric structure

Plants grow in a natural and organic way that compliments geometric shapes. Use circles, squares, half-circles, and sharp angles for garden layout and growing structures.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 17. Hanging features create interest

5. Hanging features create interest

Whether it’s dangling gourds, a spray of flowers, fruit heavy on a branch, or garden artwork hanging in strategic places, hanging features create interest. They fill empty spaces, pepper growing spaces with full shapes, and create movement when they sway in the breeze.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 4. Allow plants to go wild

6. Allow plants to go wild

The tendrils of ivy climbing up this tombstone weren’t planned but compliment the flat stone surface in a natural and romantic way.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 5. Big splashes of single colour

7. Big splashes of single colour

Use a single type and/or colour of flower to create high a high impact statement. Here magenta Petunias spill out of a classical stone planter.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 6. Train troublemakers like Ivy

8. Festooned with Ivy

Some plants and flowers can become an issue in the garden. They self-seed, invade beds, and become a general nuisance. Use these plants natural vigor and tendencies to your benefit. Here Ivy has been trained into an elegant design feature that separates a walkway from a lawn.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 7. Nothing is too big for a planter

9. Nothing is too big for a planter

If you don’t have ground space for a tree or bush, or maybe you have one that’s too tender to be out all winter, then plant it in a large container. This palm tree, and dozens of it’s siblings, is thriving in a wooden box in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 8. Create theatre in your garden

10. Create theatre in your garden

Sometimes your plantings are the star of the show and sometimes they’re the audience. This colourful bed of flowers surrounding a statue of Pan playing his flute draw the eye to the statue without competing with it.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 9. Create indoor growing spaces

11. Grow a Garden Inside

It’s nice to enjoy green life outdoors but bringing it inside will give you a place to enjoy it when it rains, during the colder months, or just because some plants and flowers won’t do well in your climate. This large glasshouse at the Jardin des Plantes is out of the scope of most but a small conservatory or sunny window are perfect for getting the same effect at home.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 10. Go vertical

12. Go vertical

Climbers on a simple structure create stunning displays of colour but also help separate areas of your garden and yard. This could be a great way to hide unsightly areas as well.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 11. There's a world of variety

13. Cactii

Did you know that there were so many different types of cactus? The same applies to other plants so instead of growing the same variety year after years look to see if there are others that you might like just as much or even better! Read more about the Desert & Arid Land Glasshouse

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 12. Break up your lawn

14. Break up your lawn

The conventional front lawn is a square of lawn surrounded by flower beds. Unless you use your front lawn for playing football, break up the green grass with beds that crisscross it. Use simple lines or create a pattern that you and your neighbours will enjoy.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 13. Weird Plants

15. Grow Weird Plants

Don’t the tendrils of this Crassula lycopodioides remind you of green snakes? Imagine planting them into the head of a bust of a woman – voilà, Medusa! Plants that are weird, ugly, or creepy can help add creativity to your home and garden.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 14. Trees create intimate spaces

16. Trees create intimate spaces

This canopy of trees in the Père Lachaise cemetery covers the tombs and those visiting in a blanket of green. It makes the large space more intimate and breaks it up into more personal spaces.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 16. The right plant can direct traffic (Sedum Spectabile 'Neon')

17. The right plant can direct traffic

I spotted this Sedum spectabile ‘Neon’ from about fifty feet away and made a beeline for it. I’d never have walked down this otherwise generic pathway otherwise.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 18. Stone and greenery create harmony

18. Stone and greenery create harmony

Imagine vines growing over Mayan temples, pebbles on a path breaking up a lawn, and succulents growing in a stone wall. The gestalt of stone and green life are harmonious and a classic design element that fits well in any garden.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 19. Trees are architecture

19. Trees as architecture

A simple line of trees draws the eye down a path or road but also creates an intimate corridor that shades you from the elements. It essentially creates an outdoor room with vaulted ceilings.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 20. Separation in beds and borders

20. Separation of Growing Areas

In this botanical garden the water features are designed to showcase different types of plants within the same space. What I like about it is that it constrains plants into their own spaces and allows them to all thrive without competing for nutrients or sunlight. This could be a great idea for growing different types of mint or other plants that like to invade territory.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 21. Netting is a good idea for edibles

21. Protect edibles

This persistent crow was lucky enough to find a stalk of wheat growing through the netting. When using netting make sure that it’s pulled tight, and there are no parts that animals can easily get caught up in. Ideally, have it six inches up off the ground as well.

Irregardless of how well you’ve set it up, visit regularly to make sure it’s not caught an animal. I’ve seen netting catch song birds as well as hedgehogs. If you’re having issues with birds in your veggie gardens, check out these ideas for keeping them out.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 22. Feed your local wildlife

22. Feed your local wildlife

While you will want to net crops you want for yourself, it’s kind to grow plants that your local wildlife will like too. Sunflowers are a great option because they look great on their way to producing seed and the birds can help themselves when they’ve produced.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 23. Design trends are never new

23. Ombre

For the past couple of years ‘Ombre’ has been trendy in hair colour, fashion, and design. This Ipomeia lobata laughs in the face of our design discovery! What we should take from this is that trends are interesting and can inspire but really, it’s all been done before. Take what you like and don’t feel obligated to conform to what’s popular at the moment.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 2. Classy 'Make-up' for buildings

24. Dress up Windows with Flowers

No matter how beautiful a building may be on its own, a splash of colour can accentuate its best features. Here the red and green from geraniums adds life to romantic architecture.

25 Gardening Inspirations from Paris, France - planter ideas, using trees, unusual plants, garden art, and planting for wildlife. Here: 25. Mulch with grass clippings

25. Mulch with grass clippings

Grass clippings used as mulch? If the French do it, then I can do it! All laughing aside, this practical way of keeping weeds down also feeds your soil so think twice about what you do with your next load of lawn clippings.

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3 Comments

  1. I have been lucky enough to go to Paris twice with my husband. Fell in love and hope to go back again. My poor husband gets dragged to the cemeteries every time, the stories the tombs tell fascinate me. And I have the big orange pumpkin, great for cooking and also just sitting on the counter. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    1. I feel like there should be a garden guide to Paris! The cemeteries are beautiful and as you say, so filled with history and stories. Then there are the boulevards of trees, city parks, botanical gardens, and the beauty of ordinary window boxes and private gardens.

      You have the pot?! Lucky you! It’s quite pricey but I’m considering buying it too :)

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