What Is A Parterre Garden?

If you’re ringing in the changes of a new year by renovating and revamping your outdoor spaces but aren’t sure where to begin or what kind of style you’d like, what about researching parterre gardens to see if they might be something you’re interested in.

Those of you keen on embracing a more formal approach to your gardens may be particularly taken with this 17th century design concept, which was once very popular throughout England, characterised by ornamental arrangements of flowerbeds laid out beautifully in intricate ways.

The word ‘parterre’ itself comes from the French word meaning ‘on the ground’, with the garden laid out flat and constituting lots of enclosed beds, set apart from each other with gravel. Box hedging is often seen in these beautiful spaces, surrounding stunning flower beds blooming with colour.

This style of garden was first developed in France by designer Claude Mollet in 1595 or thereabouts, with compartment-style parterres introduced in the royal gardens at Fontainebleau and Saint-Germain-en-Laye… and, from there, it became more and more popular in France and then all over Europe.

Interestingly, you’re meant to view these gardens from above, looking down from the windows of the top floor of your house so that you can really admire and appreciate the overall pattern of the parterre itself.

When designing your own parterre garden, make sure you don’t forget about vertical planting. It can be easy to fall into the trap of keeping people’s focus on ground level because the enclosed beds are flat, but you actually need to make sure you add some height to your design, as well, for it to be most effective.

Do you need help with the landscaping for your Chester home? Get in touch with the team here at LW Landscapes to see what we can achieve together.