The smell of sweet lavender, the sound of tiny pebbles crunching beneath your sandals, the taste of chilled Rosé wine… I have such fond memories of lounging away warm summer afternoons in the Provençal garden of my parent’s mas they rented in St. Remy de Provence.
We had many outdoor meals at their stone table (covered in Provençal fabric), and enjoyed cooling down from the blistering summer sun in their cerulean blue pool. The garden was by no means overly manicured, in fact it oozed with that carefree charm Provence is so well known for: the random stone pot planted with lavender, an ochre urn bursting with sun ripe tomatoes, an old olive tree with it’s twisted and tangled branches shading only a small portion of the yard.
This casual setting is what gives gardens throughout Provence their charm. Purposeful pieces with rustic, country styling. Below are a few ideas to bring that Provençal garden inspiration home to your yard.
Metal or Stone Table – Many Provençal yards have a gorgeous stone table strategically placed under a shaded arbor or tree. If a stone table does not work for you, a French style metal cafe table and chairs will do equally as well!
Provençal Fabrics – There are quite a few famous design houses in the South of France that produce incredible Provençal fabrics, but if you’re not lucky enough to be going on a trip there anytime soon, it’s easy to pick up some wonderful Provençal prints from the internet. Just type in Provencal fabric to your favorite search engine and you’ll be bombarded with the perfect fabrics for a tablecloth, or seat cushions.
Large Ceramic Urn – A signature piece to many yards in the South of France is a large ceramic urn. Many are glazed in gorgeous ochres and golds, some have beautiful olive green hues, either way, these pieces are perfect just by themselves in the yard, or planted with the latest veggie in season.
Tin Lights – A string of lights, with tin shades, zig zagging through the trees adds the perfect Provençal ambience to enjoy your yard even after the sun goes down.
Stone Pot with lavender – Stone is a common element in gardens in the South of France, most likely mirroring the rocky mountain landscapes of les Alpilles near St. Remy de Pce, or Mont St. Victoire near Aix en Pce. Find a rough stone pot and plant lavender inside for the perfect touch.
Olive Tree – The summer heat in the south of France can be grueling! An olive tree in a very large pot, or planted can be the perfect shade spot to cool off.
French blue painted shutters – If you don’t have shutters on your house, perhaps add a little French blue paint to a wood chair or other accessory and keep in the yard to give that Provençal charm.
Chilled Rosé Wine – After all your hard work of creating the perfect south of France retreat, be sure to pop open a delicious chilled Rosé wine, specifically from the region and enjoy the fruits of your labor!