Friday, July 19, 2013


Would you like to visit the French countryside?
Well, this book is your ticket!
While I am foremost a tropical gardener, I do have room in my heart (and in parts of my yard)
for other styles.
A pathway in my garden

"The French Country Garden" by Louisa Jones is a stunning window into the lives of  18 gardeners and their gardens. It is remarkably well written and the photography is top notch.

This is the type of gardening book that makes you want to dream...but in practical ways.
Adding a birdhouse, or a few metal chairs, or a row of pots with flowers spilling over the sides are all reachable goals for any gardener.

Our front garden with lavender and various flowers. Even my non-gardening wife noticed!

Though not a native, Louisa Jones has lived and gardened in France for over 35 years. She KNOWS what she likes and she knows how to write about it. She has visited and photographed over 200 gardens in this land of beautiful landscapes!

Here's an example of her colorful writing style...she writes:
"The borders and plantings leap out at you barely contained in the rustic frames."
"Bare soil is like a bare canvas waiting to be painted"
French gardens are formally beautiful, deliciously sensual, full of magic..."
"Gardening is all a poem."

An old blue chair...a gift from one of my garden friends.

This book covers all of France, but with the constant theme of a French COUNTRY garden.
These gardens have only hints of the formal designs and topiary you find standard to French gardening style.

Herbs mixed with flowers here in our's a common theme to country gardens.

With over 220 photos and 176 pages contained in an over-sized coffee table sampler, The French Country Garden
is a wonderful addition to any garden library.

A scene from my garden...the rustic chair is another gift along with that white stand

The French country gardens are charming, bursting with plants and pathways, filled with love and warmth and caring people who like things a bit whimsical and loose.

Our front garden with blue and lime green combinations.

I was delighted to find that some French gardeners paint their chairs and fences different shades of blue.
I do the very same thing! 

Well that's it for this time. I must say that this was one of the most difficult photo assignments I've ever given myself. To do this post, I had to block out all my tropicals and agaves and just focus on plants that would fit the French country style. Whew, that was hard!

A blue pot in our front garden

To read over 100 illustrated garden book reviews written by fellow garden bloggers, visit my Texas gardening friend Holley
She's our delightful host month after month.
And by the way, the very southern coastline of France contains gardens with some of the tropical plants I grow here in Texas.  (I'll let a Plumeria slip in to this scene)

Thanks for stopping by!  David/:0)

by Louisa Jones
Photography by: Joelle Caroline Mayer & Gilles Le Scanff
Published by: Thames & Hudson 
Published in 2006 (paperback edition)
Published in 2000 (hardback edition)

Prices starting used at $15.00 (as of July 2013)
NOTE: I do not own
It was just the easiest way to track down a copy for you.

Her biography:

And to see a garden blog in France, visit this beautiful garden.
Rob has been an active garden blogger for many years and I've just found him doing research 
for this book. I'm glad I did! Maybe he will hire me to pull weeds in his French garden!
I'd consider that a vacation. :0)

from the back cover


  1. Hi David
    France and gardening, what could be better? Love your blue garden additions, and really I want to get to know the friends who give you cool stuff, like that chair...

    ps: ALL my dreams are practical. Or maybe it's that all my practical ideas are dreams... (I can never remember which.)

  2. I love it...and you're so right...we can find inspiration in drastically different gardens than our own!

  3. This looks like a book I would really enjoy. We went to France a few years ago and I couldn't visit enough gardens there! This will give me some arm chair travel and inspired garden ideas.

  4. Well, I have the Country part down pat, not so much French but when I went to Rob's blog, I have plenty of that Graptopetalum stuff if that's French.

  5. I love, love, love french country gardens! Of course, what's not to love! But, I got so many ideas just from your review! This book is definitely going on my must-have list. I am also very impressed with how french country your tropical garden is! What a beautiful combination. Thanks so much for joining in!

  6. I love country gardens, whether French, English, or American. (I read Peter Mayle's "A Year in Provence" and enjoyed it, too.) I like the French elements you have incorporated into your garden. Good job! After reading your review, I ordered 'The French Country Garden' from my library. I can hardly wait! Thank you for the review.

  7. Wow, great ideas! Thanks so much for the recommendation to read the book. Must get to the library. Here on the shores of Lake Michigan, I have my own style and the things you blogged about will fit well. Jack


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

Related Posts with Thumbnails