A View from Above: The Parterre Garden

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A parterre garden is a formal garden design planted on a level surface that consists of planting beds, edged in stone or tightly clipped hedging and visually pleasing gravel paths that usually form a symmetrical pattern. Created in the 16th century by French nursery designer Claude Mollet, the parterre garden was conceived to be a garden that was to be viewed from the high vantage points of open windows, balconies, and palisades. So it was really a garden meant to be enjoyed by the aristocratic society. However, the English were not receptive to this type of design at first. One English herbalist even said that box had a “naughty smell” and should not be used in the garden.

It was around the time of the reign of Louis XIII at the Palace of Versailles that parterre gardens really reached popularity. Elements of the parterre garden are:

  • square boundaries made from several shrubs of different shades of green
  • elaborate interior patterns of English knot gardens
  • the use of repeating geometry
  • visually pleasing especially when viewing from above
Photo: mooseyscountrygarden.com
Photo: mysuburbanchateau.blogspot.com
Photo: slightlyrelevant.com

Lifescape Associates can design and plant any style garden you want for your Colorado home.