There are many ways to arrange beds on your site. Some owners simply dig up the soil, forming a small embankment, while others build fences from scrap materials. If you want to add a twist, equip the so-called French beds, transforming a dull vegetable garden into a real work of art.
What is the peculiarity of French beds
The French style of decorating a private plot takes us back to the reign of Louis XIV. If you look at the photo, then such a garden symbolizes, first of all, the cleanliness of the site with harmoniously located beautiful flower beds. The main distinguishing feature of French beds is symmetry in design and the presence of geometric shapes. The simplest example is the division of a rectangular vegetable garden into four equal squares, and a garden sculpture is installed in the center.
Vegetable garden with French beds differs in decorativeness. Each segment of the flower bed is separated by a beautiful fence. Paving slabs are laid between the beds or bulk track from a colored stone. As plantings, there can be not only vegetablesbut also ornamental plants, flowers and even trees.
Before you start breaking up the beds, you need to decide on their shape. One of the geometric shapes is taken as a basis. It can be a circle, rectangle, equal squares that form a chessboard, etc.
When decorating a vegetable garden, it must be borne in mind that:
- The flower beds can be made on the same level as the common garden. They will stand out only for their decorative design.
- It is allowed to raise the beds above the ground level up to 20-30 cm. In such cases, fences are usually installed from bricks or cobblestones. You can use other materials, the main thing is that the flowerbed is beautiful.
Having decided on the shape of the garden, they start choosing plants. A feature of the design of the French garden is the absence of empty land in the flower bed. Vegetable crops alternate harmoniously, and the gaps between them are planted with ornamental vegetation. When choosing plantings, the peculiarities of each plant are taken into account: growth, flowering time, photophilousness, etc. All crops growing on a flower bed from early spring to late autumn should not interfere with each other.
An integral decoration of the French garden is vertical vegetation decorations:
- Temporary items are made from annual plants. Tall tomatoes or corn work well. You can build a vertical trellis in the flowerbed, along which annual plants, for example, beans, will trail.
- Perennial climbing plants, shrubs and dwarf fruit trees can be permanent elements of vertical gardening.
For planting on beds, you should not give preference to very spreading trees or shrubs. Over time, their crown will shade other stunted plants.
Choosing a shape for the future garden
We have already said that French beds have the shape of a geometric figure. However, the more difficult it is, the harder it is to build a flower bed. It is better for a beginner gardener to take a square or a circle as a basis and divide it into several segments.
Square flower bed
For a square-shaped French bed, a high fence is equipped, as shown in this photo. Usually the seat is raised up to 30 cm from the ground level. Each segment of the garden bed can be in the form of a diamond, triangle or rectangle. Four equal squares are collected from them, forming one common rectangle of regular shape.
Round flower bed
The photo shows an example of the design of a round French bed. A large circle is taken as a basis. From its center to the edges, the boundaries are divided, dividing the site into several equal segments. On the dividing lines, paths are paved with gravel or paving slabs. As a result, you get a large round flower bed, divided into equal triangles with one semicircular side. If desired, a small round bed can be broken at the point where the triangles meet.
Whether it is a round or square flower bed, it is designed for a specific style. If the owner prefers retro, forged elements will become a good decor element. These can be not only fences, but also figures of birds, animals or plants. However, forging costs a lot of money. Cheaply, you can decorate with a scarecrow or install a pole with hanging glass balls from an old chandelier. You can focus on a flowerpot with growing medicinal plants installed in the center of the flower bed. Calendula is good for these purposes. A bright orange flower will decorate the garden throughout the summer. The flowerpot can be made independently from an old bucket or earthen vessel, decorated with multi-colored patterns.
Choosing a place
The French-style garden beds represent beauty. They are located in the most visible area of the yard. It is optimal to adhere to a checkerboard pattern, which improves the comfort of maintenance of the flower beds.
When choosing a place, it is important to consider how the plantings will be taken care of. In small segments, planting and digging is done manually. Large flower beds can be serviced with specialized equipment, which means that a convenient entrance must be provided for it.
Now we will look at how you can independently break French beds on your site. Regardless of the shape chosen, the technology remains unchanged, so let's take an example of arranging a square flower bed with a circle in the center:
- The work begins with the preparation of a section of the yard where the future bed will be laid out. The area is cleared of vegetation and any debris.
- Next, they start marking. A circle of the desired diameter is drawn in the center of the square. Beams are marked from it to the corners of the square. The end result is a large square flower bed with four triangular segments and a circular bed in the center. If the area in the yard is very small, you can draw a semicircle instead of a circle. Then its flat side will be able to organize a resting place. A bench is installed here, and a canopy is arranged from a vertically installed lattice with weaving plants. When arranging a resting place, it is necessary to provide that the vertical structures do not obscure the plants in the flower bed.
- According to the marking, the fencing of each segment of the clubs is installed. For these purposes, any building material is used: brick, stone, boards, etc. As an option, vertically dug plastic bottles are suitable.
- Paths are laid between the segment fences. The soil can simply be mulched with black film, and gravel or crushed stone can be poured on top. Beautiful paths will be obtained from paving slabs or savage stone. The width of the path is determined individually, but not less than 50 cm.
- Fertile soil is poured inside the finished fences, after which they begin to plant the plants.
A resting place near the flower bed can be organized from an installed bench and a table. It is better to braid a lattice canopy with clematis or a curly rose.
An integral part is an installed sculpture or other similar structure. It's easier to buy a concrete garden gnome or another hero of a fairy tale. If you get creative, you can weave an arch from the vine, and wooden benches will be installed under it. Any vertical structure can be equipped with bowls. Then it is possible to additionally grow remontant strawberries in them.
Plantings in a French flower bed should consist of your favorite vegetables and flowers. A beautiful design is obtained with lettuce of different colors, basil and other edible herbs.
What is better to land
In terms of their purpose, French beds are no different from their traditional counterparts. You can grow whatever your heart desires. It is only important to observe the harmony of the garden so that the plants do not interfere with each other's development, bloom and fruiting. If preference is given to spicy herbs, then the carrots or radishes planted between them will not interfere with them in any way. The decorativeness of the French garden will not suffer, and the owner will also receive fresh roots.
When planting different types of salads, the flowerbed can be decorated with low-growing flowers. Even the leaves of beetroot will add decorativeness to the plantings. Curly parsley goes well with fennel and onions.
The French garden is the perfect place to grow medicinal plants. Many of them have excellent decorative properties. Common medicinal plants are sage, lavender, calendula, nasturtium, echinacea. Each group of plants planted in a flower bed should stand out with a bright area, which provides the basic requirement for arranging a French garden bed.
In the photo you can see how the cabbage plantings look perfect, and the fencing of the French flower bed itself is made of ornamental vegetation.
This complicates the care of the plantings in the fall. When digging up annuals, there is a threat of damage to the root system of perennials.
The video tells how to make a French vegetable garden:
The French garden bed is an ideal option for people who love order in their personal plot.