Among the different types of gardens that exist, we have the provencal gardens. These are those that have very marked characteristics and that are capable of moving us to other places with Mediterranean climates. They have very characteristic plants, colors and structures that can give a peculiar charm with a wild air.
In this article we are going to tell you what are the key elements of Provencal gardens and what are their characteristics.
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Essential elements in Provencal gardens
A self-respecting Provencal garden cannot lack any of these elements:
Since Provence stretches from the foothills of the Alpes-Maritimes to the sea, the terrain it occupies is obviously irregular. Already in ancient times, Provence farmers built terraces on which olive trees, vines and orchards were planted. Besides being conducive to growing crops, terraced land can also prevent landslides caused by heavy rains and make better use of irrigation water.
They constitute the hallmark of the Provence region, where heritage preservation is an important prerequisite for society. The old country house was transformed into a pleasant house respecting its structure, preserving the old dovecote, irrigation pond and stone channel to guide the irrigation water. Provence has an ancient but well preserved atmosphere.
The oldest terraces were built with overlapping stones without any coating, sealing or filling. The smaller fragments, called gravel, are used to contain larger stones. Over time, the cracks between the walls became overgrown and overgrown, which contributed to the balance and harmony of the garden.
Today, plaster is used more, so the walls are more durable, and the edges of the terrace are covered with creeping plants.
Provencal gardens are full of aromas: rosemary, lavender, sage, jasmine, wisteria, rose. The best perfumers in history have found the raw materials for making perfumes, and the main essential oil extraction techniques have also been developed here.
Rosa x centifolia is the protagonist of May, when it blooms and is collected for the production of perfumes, that is why it is also called May rose or Rose of Provence. In summer, it is the lavender's turn and the cultivated land on the horizon disappears.
There is no shortage of aromatic herbs, roses and other perennial herbs in the gardens of Provence, combined with Mediterranean shrubs or exotic drought-tolerant shrubs, such as durilo, rockrose, pitaya, jasmine, belladonna, etc., and the trees can enjoy a good shade: fig, mulberry, oak, cypress, olive, etc.
The temperate climate of Provence allows vegetation to maintain foliage throughout the year, providing endless shades of green contrast.
The paved terraces that surround the house provide a stable surface where you can walk comfortably and relax on the furniture of the house, have lunch or enjoy an evening around the table. Many are original floors, handmade clay slabs from centuries ago. Currently it is possible to find them, but they are very expensive and there are industrial alternatives that offer similar finishes and ages. Clay is a porous material that will exhibit a very attractive shine over time.
Pots and containers
The pots are used on terraces, next to houses, separate rooms or entrances to houses. In some parts of the garden, There are large glazed clay pots for decorative shapes. But scattered, do not stack, so as not to cause visual confusion. They are very suitable for plants that do not tolerate low temperatures in winter because they can be moved to a greenhouse or indoors at that time.
Pergolas and fountains
The pergola is an essential function and will never be missing in the back area of the house. Coming out of the kitchen, shading an intimate and familiar place for breakfast and dinner, under the vines, wisteria and other climbing plants, is a real treat. In general, It is built on stone pillars with thin iron beams that intersect to provide sustenance for the vines.
In areas with hot and dry summers, water is a precious element. In addition to being decorative, the fountain also provides refreshing elements. They can be found in any corner of the garden and come in different shapes and sizes: fountains on the walls, fountains in the center of the pavilion, fountains with drinking fountains, decorative fountains, etc.
How to make Provencal gardens
If you want to make a style of your garden, of Provencal gardens, we are going to list the aspects that you must take into account. Choose the place in your garden where you want to create your little Provencal corner. The place under the shade of the tree can be perfect, but if you can't find a natural shade, don't worry, because you can get it by adding a pergola or an umbrella.
There are many types of gravel, but large river gravel is commonly used in Provence, and small ones are often called "peas". It is not necessarily one of the specific types or colors, but it should always be the most natural shade. Very white, green or very shiny gravel is not recommended.
A table and a seat where you can have lunch with friends or meet for a chat and a drink. Iron furniture is often used in Provencal gardens, but other materials can also be used. If it is antique or old furniture, the effect will be better. You can find real treasures in thrift stores or advertisements on the Internet.
Lavender and rosemary are characteristic plants of Provence, but there are more: sage, rose, whistle, viburnum, oleander, etc. If you don't have sunlight or the climate doesn't allow Mediterranean plants, try other similar plants with similar shapes and textures grown in your area. Do not abuse the variety, too many different species will make it look more like an English garden than a Provencal garden.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about Provencal gardens and how to design one.