The design is formal with emphasis on a disciplined and architectural layout that can trace its roots to the classical gardens of old times.
Nature is tamed, the ground is levelled, and terraces are created and linked together by elaborate flights of stairs. Water is used either for reflective qualities or for impressive displays as in cascades and fountains. The lawns are contained in rectangular frames. When walking in a French garden, the visitor is invited to walk along straight avenues and is given the opportunity to gaze down vistas which lead to an eye catching focal point.
Dahlias, Plox, Monarda, Nepeta, Roses, Scented Geraniums; Camellias and Hibiscus.
These should be mingled with Salvia, Cosmos, Lavatera and Zinnias. The planting scheme is controlled by colour; a few touches of yellow, red and orange lighten the whole effect, introduce splashes of lilac and blue, remembering that the predominant colours must be pastels; dot these throughout the beds to give the garden a glow. The French garden allows the gardener to use his artistic talents to the full. A traditional neat, walled garden with fruit trees in one area, a rose garden in which to sit on a well placed bench and let the senses of smell and sight feed on the colour and perfume. Add an area massed with lavender or a wild flower meadow to create a country feel among the formality.
Flowers are planted in rectangular, circular or square shaped flower beds. Use bands of colour to compliment the formal areas of the boxed hedges and green grass. Choose plants that will provide a succession of blooms and colour from the beginning of summer until the start of winter.
Statues, stone ornaments, columns, flower pots, benches and trellises are used to create interest. French styled gardens appeal to the mind as well as to the eye. The mastery of geometry, symmetry and perspective produces compositions of superb balance, giving this type of garden a deep and lasting appeal.
The ideal trees for this use are Oak, Lime, Yew, Beech, Ash, Horse Chestnut, Hornbeam and of course Conifers.