French Flowers – Grow A French Garden

Last Updated on August 3, 2021 by Grow with Bovees

A country of rich and varied culture, France is famous for many things, be it the iconic Eiffel tower, world-renowned fashion or coffee & croissants!

However, France is also home to a wide range of beautiful, famous flowers that are loved for their amazing perfume and eye-catching appeal.

So why not grow your own French garden or at least have a little French corner?

With that in mind the Bovees team decided to do a bit of research into the most popular Native French Flowers and how to grow them in your own yard at home.

Special Occasion Flowers of France

Lily of the Valley (Muguet) – 1st May

May 1st is billed as Labor Day in France, hence it is a national holiday, and one of the ways the French celebrate this holiday is by gifting a very popular flower, lily of the valley (“Muguet-Du-Bois” in French) to loved ones.

This species of lily flowers are considered a lucky charm for the French, and are sold everywhere a week prior to the 1st of May, when is the time that lilies typically begin to bloom.

Legend has it, that since the time of Charles IX (16th Century) this species of lily flowers have been considered a lucky charm for the French and are sold everywhere in the weeks prior to the 1st of May, which is the time when these cute flowers typically begin to bloom.

How to Grow Lily of the Valley at Home?

Possibly the most famous of the Lily flower species, Lily of the valley flowers feature attractive green foliage, with stems bearing strings of extremely fragrant, bell-shaped, white or occasionally pink flowers.

These native French flowers, found along the woodland edges of many a French meadow, grow between six and twelve inches tall, and blossom every year in the spring.

The best time to plant lily of the valley bulbs is in the early spring, but you need to do so with a little caution, as these beautiful indigenous flowers can be very aggressive spreaders.

Before you plant lily of the valley flowers, you need to choose an ideal location in shade or partial shade areas.

Further, the location should have well-drained soil that has been enhanced with manure or compost. You can even plant these tiny flowers in a container that can then be placed in a shady area.

To plant lily of the valley outdoors, dig a small hole, and place the pointed bulb roughly half an inch below the soil level. Next, spread the roots out, cover the soil, and water thoroughly.

To grow lily of the valley flowers as an indoor plant, you can dig up a few outdoor plants in the early fall, plant them in small containers in fertile and well-drained soil, and place them indoors in a bright spot.

Christmas Poinsettia

Poinsettias are one of four French flowers used during Christmas celebrations, the others being; Amaryllis, star gazer lilies and red carnations.

Poinsettias are actually indigenous to Central and South America but the French have adopted them as a popular Christmas house plant.

Christmas poinsettias are beautiful flowers that can be identified easily by their different colored leaves. Dark green leaves measuring between three and six inches long are located at the lower level, while striking bright red leaves appear towards the top.

There are also several less common varietals which feature white, pink and even marbley red and white leaves.

The actual flowers of Christmas poinsettias are very small and tucked away in the center of the bright red leaves. They actually look more like anthers or stigma than flowers.

How to Grow Christmas Poinsettias at Home?

Christmas’ poinsettias grow well in subtropical conditions, and will reach up to 10-feet tall.

They should be planted in well-drained soil, and placed in a location that receives a minimum of four to five hours of sunlight per day.

With regard to watering, these French flowers should be watered only when the soil is dry, and not be fertilized while they are in bloom.

Flowers from Famous French Regions

Provence

Lavender — The Purple Flower Wonder

Provence is a region in southwestern France that is home to the stunning French Riviera, and field upon field of lavender bushes.

The best time to visit the lavender fields in Provence is from mid-June to mid-July when the beautiful fragrant flowers are at their best.

How to Grow French Lavender at Home?

Lavender flowers are best planted on a slope, so that the excess water can run off. The tiny flower seed should be planted in the late winter or spring, and takes two to three months to germinate.

You can add natural-looking gravel mulch around these purple flower plants to prevent too much moisture from accumulating in the soil, but steer clear of organic mulch, as it may cause rotting.

Rosemary Bush

Herbes de Provence is a mixture of dried herbs that are widely used for cooking in the Provence region of France.

French rosemary boasts a strong, yet subtle piney, mint flavor, and features needle-like, greenish, gray leaves.

The leaves are evergreen, and are sold in Provence, as well as worldwide in sachets, clay pots, or tins.

French rosemary is regarded as a versatile herb that gives a distinctive flavor to any meal you prepare, and offers some great health benefits.

How to Grow Rosemary at Home

Rosemary is best germinated indoors you want it to thrive, given that its seeds germinate and grow slowly.

You can use a small pot or even an egg carton along with well-drained potting soil for indoor plants to start off a rosemary bush. Sprinkle three to four rosemary seeds on the top of the soil, and add a bit of water to moisten it.

Next, cover the container with a plastic wrap or dome, and place it in an area that receives plenty of direct sunlight until germination.

Coquelicot (Poppy Flower)

Coquelicot (which is also the name of a shade of red), can be found all over France growing in the wild, but is mostly seen in large numbers in Provence.

The red poppy is however regarded as an undesirable weed as they self-seed so easily.

Although there are many different color poppy flowers, red does seem to be the most numerous.

Many leading artists such as Monet and Van Gogh have been inspired by French red poppy flowers, as they are such a beautiful colorful flower, just a shame that the ones that grow in the wild are not  very useful as fresh cut flowers for the vase.

This is due to the fact that their stems are very thin and so are their petals which are almost tissue paper-like.

How to Grow Coquelicot (Poppy Flower)

The best time to plant these beautiful flowers is outdoors in the early spring in preferably sandy loam soil, and in a location that receives full sunlight.

Simply sow the seeds and sprinkle a little more soil over the top of them.

You can even grow red poppy flowers in containers, but make sure you stake them when they’re tall, so they grow strong and upright.

Coquelicot red, orange and white poppy flowers begin blooming from late spring to late autumn, and apart from being a great addition to your garden, the seeds can be used in cookery and also offer several medicinal benefits including soothing dry, sensitive and irritated skin.

Gerberas

Gerberas, commonly known as the African daisy are similar to sunflowers, and are available in an array of great colors including yellow, orange, white, pink, and blue.

These strikingly colorful flowers are widely used as decorative plants, and is an annual flower that is easy to grow at home.

How to Grow Gerbera Daisies at Home

Gerberas are colorful flowers that can be grown at home with little effort. These cheery fellows grow best in warmer areas, but not in locations that receive intense heat.

Start by planting gerberas 12-inches to 18-inches apart for good airflow around them, and at an elevated level to prevent rotting of crowns.

When planted properly, gerberas will grow to a height between 6-inches and 18-inches, and should be watered when their top inch of soil dries out.

You can apply a good liquid fertilizer to accelerate blooming two or three times in the spring and summer.

Alpes Maritime

Gourdon Flowers

If you are looking to add a gorgeous splash of color to your home garden this year, campanula purple flowers are perhaps a great option.

These dainty bell-shaped blossoms enhance the rocks in the scenic village of Gourdon in southwestern France.

How to Grow Gourdon Campanula at Home?

Also known as bellflowers, campanulas are easy to grow, low-maintenance, ground covering French flowers that make a great addition to any home garden.

You should plant campanula in well-drained soil, and set it in an area that receives partial sunlight.

Even though the actual blooming periods vary slightly, campanulas boast a long blooming period, and showcase their best colors starting from late spring to the first frost in early fall.

It is recommended that you add two to three inches of organic mulch around your campanula purple flower plants after planting.

Trim the dead heads to encourage more blooms, and make sure they are spaced at least 15-inches to 18-inches apart.

Cours Saleya Flower Market

The Cours Saleya Flower Market is located in the heart of Nice, France, and is home to four different markets including the flower market ‘Marché aux Fleurs’.

This flower market is held Tuesday through Sunday, and is known for the gorgeous array of  brilliant colored and sweet-smelling French flowers sold there.

There is some confusion regarding the words “cacti Cours Saleya”. Some people think that it refers to an individual species of cactus, but it is in fact just a term that is given to the selection of various cacti plants that are sold at the flower market Cours Saleya, hence the term cacti Cours Saleya.

Claude Monet Flower Garden at Giverney

The flower garden at Giverney, is perhaps the most famous French flower garden, as painted by the 13th century artist Claude Monet. It is visited in great numbers by flower enthusiasts, history and art enthusiasts, as well as many tourists who visit simply for the vibrant color combinations of the adorable flowers that are found there.

The garden contains many delicate spring flowers, such as iris, daffodil bulbs, poinsettia plants, forget-me-not, primroses, pansies, tulips and Dutch iris, to name but a few.

There are also many summer flowers found there, such as pelargoniums, delphiniums, hollyhocks, hydrangeas, fuchsia rose, French marigold flowers, along with many famous French flower names such as; Dahlias jaunes, blancs et roses — Rosiers tiges à fleurs simples roses, jaunes et orange — Rosiers grimpants à fleurs simples roses et rouges and Campanules des Carpathes.

Of course, you will also find the national flower of France there, along with many other iris flowers.

This beloved garden also contains flowers from many European countries, including Greek flowers and Italian flowers.

There are other species of plants there of course, some from Asian countries, like the Cognassiers du Japon (Japanese quince tree) and Pommiers du Japon (Japanese apple tree)

Although the queues are very long during the summer months, it is well worth a visit to view the many famous flowers there.

 What is the National Flower of France?

Iris (Fleur de Lys is a stylized version of the Iris) or lily flower is the national flower of France, and has been used as a symbolic flower to represent French monarchy since the 13th century.

Iris is noted by its three petals, where the one in the center stands straight, while the other two protrude on either side.

There are more than 200 varieties of iris that are available in an exciting assortment of colors including pure white, and deep purple French flowers