The gardens throughout France are just amazing. Versailles is what comes to mind most. The thing about French gardens is they are meant to be viewed from a distance. Everything is so orderly, soft round pebbles, pretty shapes, and neat rows of tightly clipped shrubs with a sea of purple lavender. Our C’est La V collection was inspired by these uncommonly beautiful places. So we thought you’d enjoy five French-inspired gardens, which don’t require a passport to visit.
Nemours Mansion and Gardens – Wilmington, DE
This flower-filled estate will take your breath away. The history alone is worth a peek. Alfred du Pont, an American industrialist and philanthropist built the mansion and gardens on a sprawling 3,000-acre plot. The style is 18th-century French, which his wife Alicia adored. Two famous French sculptors carved the elk and Mythology-based Four Seasons centerpiece around the pool. The entire grounds of Nemours Mansion and Gardens are trés belle!
Denver Botanic Gardens – Denver, CO
Seeing how Fresh Produce calls Boulder Home, we love that this one is close by. There used to be a Monet Garden here… did you know that Monet was a great gardener at his home in Giverny France? Monet would have drawn inspiration from the spectacular Water Gardens, which replaced his garden — a gorgeous collection of floating lilies and pretty plants and flowers. The lilac garden is a candy jar bursting with deep purples, rich reds, and pastel yellows.
Authentic Provence Secret Garden – West Palm Beach, FL
The name sounds so mysterious, doesn’t it, Secret Garden? Wander back through 15,000 square feet of fountains, statues and foliage in full bloom and you’ll feel like singing “La Vie En Rose.” This is a rare collection of the finest French garden antiques, ornaments, planters, fountains and fireplace mantels you will ever see. Makes us want to throw open a pastel-colored window shutter and usher in fresh, lavender scents.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens – Huntington, CA
There’s so much to see here but a stroll through the botanical gardens will likely send you back a few centuries to early France. While some of the gardens take their cues from other countries, you’ll notice French hints in some of the most unexpected places. Such as, a lovely tempietto (small temple) keeping watch over the Rose Garden, limestone statues and a colorful collection of French Tapestries.
The French Laundry, Yountville, CA
Set in Napa Valley just north of San Francisco, and inspired by the gentle countryside of France, is a one-of-a-kind dining experience. So where’s the garden? Owner Thomas Keller’s love of France from his days as an apprentice is evident in a 3-acre French style garden right across from the restaurant. Every morning, the staff picks fresh squash bottoms, or whatever that day’s menu calls for. There’s always something blooming!
What was your favorite stop on this French-inspired garden tour? Will you be visiting any of these places soon?