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Posts Tagged ‘Provencal Garden’

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Like so many, I absolutely love the gardens in Provence! When I visited the region 5 years ago, I fell in love with this part of France including its gardens & slower pace of life. The beauty, simplicity, sophistication and disregard for contemporary ingenuity was beautiful to me. The effortless style drew me in and I tried to take notes of everything that appealed to me. I particularly loved the areas in the gardens which were designated for eating or entertaining.  The materials were so simple — an old farm table, rustic chairs and simple plantings all made up that certain feel that is so desirable for so many of us. Therefore, while remembering my Provencal vacation, I thought I would put together some simple tips on how you could create your own little South of France right in your backyard.

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Although, many of us don’t have a charming French farm-house or the amazing Mediterranean climate we can still obtain “the look” in our own backyard. It’s relatively easy, all you need is some space and a couple of items.

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STEP 1: SELECT THE AREA

First, figure out the area in your garden where you are going to add this little Provencal nook — preferably a shady part of your garden.

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STEP TWO: ADD GRAVEL

There are many types of gravel but the gravel usually used in Provence is similar to our ‘pea’ gravel.

(Click here, for a how-to video, from This Old House, on installing a gravel pathway (same steps would apply when doing a larger space). Also, click here for more examples of gravel spaces from Houzz)

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STEP 3: ADD TABLE AND CHAIRS

A place to sit and sip on a glass of Rose and enjoy a late lunch is always nice. I like a simple picnic table and benches but it can be really anything. Places, like Restoration Hardware, Ikea and Pottery Barn offer some type of “farm” table. If you don’t want to wait years to get an aged look, try Craig’s list for a used (weathered) teak or picnic table.

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STEP 4: SELECT SOME SHRUBS

Of course, plants like Lavender and Rosemary are well know Provencal plants but there are tons more. Plants like Pittosporum, roses, salvias, and certain citrus are popular as well. If you don’t get full sun in your garden, or live in an area that doesn’t allow for you to grow Mediterranean plants then try plants that are similar. It’s really about working with the climate you are living in and using similar shapes and textures to Mediterranean plants. Also, these gardens tend to keep the plant list simple — using only several varieties of plants. Too many varieties and it becomes more of an English cottage garden. Your local nursery should give you the best advice on which plants would be comparable.

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STEP 5: ADD A LARGE PIECE OF POTTERY (OR 2)

Pottery adds a certain sculptural element, as well as a sense of history. (Restoration Hardware has some gorgeous ones at the moment)

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STEP 6: POUR YOURSELF A GLASS OF RICARD OR ROSE & ENJOY!

We all know it’s not really what you put outside but what you do with it or how you live in your space. Even if you only have a simple courtyard or balcony, the main thing is to take time with friends and family, pour a glass of wine or a cup of coffee & just enjoy the moment.

Cheers!

~ Shannon

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