Garden Photo of the Day

The Beauty and Simplicity of a Provencal Style Garden

By: Kim Charles

Karolina Dzięgielewska, a garden designer from Poland, shares her thoughts with us behind the design concepts of the Provencal style.

"Beauty, simplicity, sophistication, sleek materials and a minimalist appreciation – these words describe the Provencal garden. Modern garden design can sometimes seem cold and uninviting. But, if you combine it with a free Provençal style, you will create a personalized and artful garden. The design of this garden was a beautiful challenge for us. I love the Provençal style, both in the interiors and in the gardens. Provence has it’s own obligatory features, so every detail plays a unique role. A focus on colors played a large part in this design. We used bright colors on pavements and paths, and delicate bright colors for flowers (mainly white and violet). Such combinations blend perfectly with green. We have chosen plants that will conjure up a magical atmosphere in the garden – such as boxwood balls, lavender, hydrangeas, hornbeam hedges, and columnar yews that refer to cypresses in Provence. The central point is the patio with its original spring, adorned with a sculpture of a lion in the form of a spout. On the patio, we also planted a large tree – multiple stems -Carpinus. This garden grew day by day. In one week we planted a 5-meter high pine and finished 1.5 meters of hedges. It was an amazing experience for us. The most important feature of the Provence style is the relaxed and cozy atmosphere of a country house. In this garden, you can sit comfortably in a wicker chair, take a cup of coffee, and just enjoy the moment! Cheers!"

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View Comments


  1. user-7007498 10/10/2017

    Good morning Karolina. Thanks for the description of your work. Very beautiful. The clean lines of the hardscape punctuated by the plants really make each element stand out. Since the palette is limited, each choice becomes critical to the design. What you have done, works very well and is very pleasing. Quite the difference to the English cottage garden we saw yesterday .

    While there are less plants, the design is still complex. The hardscape is amazing.

    As a plant addict, I personally would struggle with this approach, as I am always trying to find new ways to cram in more plants (I just bought 20 perennials last night at a year-end sale from a local garden center. I have no idea where they are going yet-but they will find a home).

    Thanks for sharing your photos with us.

    1. garden1953 10/10/2017

      Good morning Kevin. Your last paragraph gave me a laugh this morning. I am a plant addict and love nothing more than acquiring more plants for my gardens. I just planted $150 of bulbs this weekend and yesterday we got about 4"-6" of snow. I live outside of Denver at 7,600'. Lots of spring bulbs are a must. I look forward to seeing your garden photos next year with all your new plants!

      1. user-7007498 10/10/2017

        Snow. Cherie, I am not ready for that. We had early fall temps about 1month ago, but now we have been back in summer. 80 degrees the last few weeks, with more to come. At least the nights are cooling to about 60, but I am ready for fall (but NOT snow).

        My new bulbs will be arriving in a few weeks. I just bought a new extra long bulb auger, so I am looking forward to putting it to use.

  2. user-6841468 10/10/2017

    I want to see more! Please send pictures next spring and summer.

  3. Maggieat11 10/10/2017

    Beautiful! Looks like you met your goals with style and grace. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Sunshine111 10/10/2017

    Wow! The Epitome of less is more! As a former garden designer I would say this is extremely difficult to pull off, and to do it well, but you have accomplished it! Good job, great work, and thank you for sharing something different with us all this morning. Bravo bravo bravo!

  5. grannieannie1 10/10/2017

    Oh! to just move in a 5 meter high pine in the blink of an eye! And create a tall hedge in a day! And to have machinery to do it!

  6. tennisluv 10/10/2017

    Karolina, the minimalist appearance of your newly planted modern garden is, indeed, quite a contrast to the Istvan's voluptuous English cottage garden from yesterday. I appreciate the beauty of both styles and struggle to find a balance between the two that appeals to me and will work for me in my own garden. Like a lot of the gardens on this blog, I do love plants and playing in the dirt; my husband frequently asks me to please stop buying plants for a while.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but from what you said, the stark lines we are seeing will soften as the garden matures with the sprawling nature of the lavender, verbena, hydrangea and grasses creating a different, more muted look/feel. The combination of lavendula and verbena bonariensis at the feet of the high-limbed pinus is perfect against the light colored wall. (Wish I could grow lavender here.) I'd love to see it again in a few years to see the changes and to see how much shade the Carpinus (which variety?) has created over the fountain and courtyard.

    Definitely not able to plant willy-nilly in this very simple, clean style garden. Thanks for sharing.

  7. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/10/2017

    Hi, Karolina, the Provencal garden style is certainly interesting and I can see how it takes vision and discipline to stay true to it. I suspect I would get an F in execution if I were to try it but an A in appreciation of someone else's commitment to it. Is the multi stem Carpinus the tree in the background off to the left of the picture where the flowering tips of the lavender show?

  8. user-4691082 10/10/2017

    Hi Karolina, you have pulled it off! I love the lion head fountain. I was surprised to see the words on the clock in English, I thought they would be Polish! Thanks for something different today. I’m sure your clients are very happy!

  9. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/10/2017

    Really a marvelous garden. I've really enjoyed the education. Although I do appreciate sleek and modern, you are right that it can come off as quite sterile. Provencal seems to be a great style, using the advice to let your plantings soften and augment the hardscape. Well done!

  10. wittyone 10/10/2017

    This garden is sleek and simple (at least to look at if not to achieve) but very calming and perfect for small groups and intimate conversation. I'd love to see how it is integrated into the design of the house.

  11. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 10/10/2017

    Good morning Karolina. Creating a garden like this takes true discipline to not overplant. We recently did a xeriscape garden in a hard to water area using a variety of stones, driftwood, grasses and lavender. We had to control ourselves to leave it at that and I love it. Your garden strikes a nice balance between soft plants and hard surfaces. Truly serene. Thanks for the tour.

  12. btucker9675 10/10/2017

    Tres jolie!!

  13. user-7008421 10/11/2017

    Beautiful and calming combination of tones in the hardscape and landscaping. Nice design!

  14. user-7007140 10/11/2017

    Wonderfully disciplined garden Karolina! Whenever there is a great deal of overgrowth in my own patch I promise myself the treat of remaking it all sleek and tidy. Alas! In my case wishing for such a space will simply never happen - like others I cannot resist popping in just a few little treats.
    Love this, one to keep and remind myself of what is possible with more control. Thank you.

  15. user-6536305 10/11/2017

    Don't know what Provencal garden is until now but it is surely stunning! Thanks for sharing!

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