Around Every Turn - Something New
French Parterre Garden
As playful as these beds are, there are also some other highly formal aspects of this garden. It's important to remember that Washington was changing to the naturalistic design. But one bed remained particularly formal. And, there is nothing more formal than the French partier garden. It is comprised of Boxwoods which take Dean back to his early days as the Boxwood gardener at Mt. Vernon. Dean assures us that he was cute then, had hair then, but then met Boxwoods. It's been a tough road. But this garden was an important feature during George Washington's lifetime. Washington had a great affinity for the French. They helped us win a war and as well Washington had an adopted grandson in the Marquis de Lafayette. What better way to honor the French than with a partier garden with the motif of a French fleur de lis. It is a nice feature and a great contrast to the more informal flower garden.
Eric wants to know if one were to use Boxwood in their garden, what would be Dean's recommendation? Washington and his gardeners used English Box and that's what they've used here for years. But this is too harsh an environment for the English Box. It's too sunny, it's too hot. Dean would suggest we look at some of the new cultivars of Boxwood. Go to your local nursery and see what will do best in your area. By using those plants you will succeed far better than if you just stick with the dwarf English Box.