Pyrus nivalis, I use this tree more often than any other. I use…
Using the word ‘French’ to describe something, immediately conjures up descriptive words like; stylish, good quality, tasty, indulgent, and so they go on. The French have an unspoken ownership on things that look good and things that taste good.
I always think that anything French, has a certain style, and traditionally they probably do. I know the food they like to eat is rich and yummy, however it wasn’t until I travelled there that I realised that they also do ‘modern’ really well too. The modern buildings sit perfectly at home with the medieval and renaissance period architecture, and form a complimentary contrast to them. The new parks which are well used by the locals, and display modern elements like user friendly water features, contemporary plantings and seating all works seamlessly together. Somehow they blend in with their traditional surroundings, making them timeless like their traditional surrounds. Modern, normally evokes something harsh or scary, however their interpretation of modern, has classic undertones which prevent from being crazy and disconnected.
When designing gardens, I use many French design principles. I don’t mean to – it’s more of an innate thing. I don’t set out to adopt them, though I’ve always been drawn to French gardens. I tend to unconsciously apply these principles whether I’m creating a symmetrical or asymmetrical design. I don’t like every single garden that’s French, some are wrong, but what appeals to me, is their simplicity, restraint and balance. While there are other basic principles of French garden style, these three principles really stand out for me and although we live in a desert and the French don’t, they can be applied to design, wherever you live.