The flowers are, according to the uses, put in the foreground in the Rose gardens and the flower gardens or used by the gardener and the landscaper as an element of decoration to bring their colors to the gardens. They not only satisfy the sight, but also the smell with their delicate or heady scents.
The first flower gardens
In China, 3000 years before JC, the flowers were already cultivated for their colored attractions, their perfume or the delicacy of their corollas in the case of peonies for example. In France, the cultivation of flowering species for their own beauty was much later, but the art of gardens then made up for this delay and remarkably integrated flowers into the general composition. In the Middle Ages, gardens brought together plants that were useful to humans, so primarily food, medicinal, textile and dye species.
Roses were nevertheless one of them, for the calming virtue of their petals with which rose water was made, and for the vitamin C richness of their rose hips. The grassy benches and chestnut trellises covered with a few flowering climbers also formed ambulatory where the ladies wandered among the fruit trees.
The separation between the useful and the pleasant was then made, in the Renaissance, the herb garden and the vegetable patch being cultivated next to the ornamental part, usually separated by walls or trellises.
Flowers, a colorful decor
In the 16th century, we thus witness the creation of veritable ornamental gardens, adorned with a diversity of plants showing beautiful blooms. Nicknamed the Château des Dames, Chenonceau then established itself as the spearhead of this style, by the will of Diane de Poitiers. Then passing into the hands of Catherine de Medici, who carries out major development work there, it remains the benchmark in terms of accreditation in France. Today it is one of the most beautiful flower gardens that change its face in all seasons.
This floral decoration, made using perennials and annual flowers grown in greenhouses and then transplanted into gardens over the year, enhances the geometric layout of the flowerbeds, giving them the appearance of an old tapestry. This use of flowering plants to emphasize the design of regular flower beds is also found in many classic gardens such as that of Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild where the color pink is in the spotlight.
Long favored in all the gardens of castles and large estates, the cut flower garden presented in juxtaposed rows the most floriferous species blooming on long stems. In addition to roses and daisies, peonies, dahlias, daylilies, gladioli, lilies, carnations, lupins and rudbeckias were among the oldest cultivated there.
Today we add cleomes and platycodons to them to create original bouquets, gaillardias, nigellas and cornflowers for a more rural style, and cosmoses to lighten the composition. But many other flowers can fill the rows.
Lavender, for example, is very fashionable, astrance and astilbe as well. All these flowering plants are more generally invited in the ornamental garden in large groups that support the removal of a few stems for bouquets. The flowerbeds surrounded by boxwood also offer the advantage of supporting the long-stemmed clumps with a green setting.