Last updated: November 19, 2021

What Does Parterre Mean?

A parterre is a garden that is constructed in symmetrical beds on level ground. The beds are typically separated by pathways, and the pathways are usually constructed from either dirt or turfgrass.

The borders of the formal beds in a parterre garden are lined by rocks, pavers, or some other border. They can also be outlined by trimmed, low growing hedge plants such as boxwoods.

The interior spaces of the beds holds a variety of flowering plants and mulch or gravel.


Maximum Yield Explains Parterre

Parterres are almost always soil-based, in-ground gardens. Weeds are a common problem for parterre gardeners, as is routine pruning of the plants. In other words, parterre gardeners require a lot of maintenance.

Parterres first appeared during the French Renaissance in the 15th century. The early versions of parterres were formed like a knot. During the 17th century Baroque era, the gardens took on a formal and very symmetrical appearance.

The parterres garden design became very popular at the Palace of Versailles. Claude Mollet is believed to have been the designer and developer of the first parterres gardens. He introducing the parterres to the gardens of the Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Fontainebleau. Parterre garden designs fell out of favor in the 18th century.


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