Create a Parterre Garden

A parterre is a pattern of boxwood or similar hedge plants, with the areas between filled with other plants. Traditionally, the hedging would be the permanent plants, and the infill made up of annuals and vegetables.

  • A
  • A
  • A

E-mail This Page to Your Friends


All fields are required.

Separate multiple e-mail addresses with a comma; Maximum 20 email addresses.


Sending E-mail

Sending E-mail

Or Do Not E-mail


A link to %this page% was e-mailed

Plant Up

With a sharp knife, cut a cross in the landscape fabric at each planting point. Make small planting holes. Insert the boxwoods and firm them in. Then fold the landscape fabric back around the stem of the plants.

Arrange Herbs for the Final Design

Place your selected herbs, while still in their pots, in the gaps between the hedging plants, and arrange them until they look right. Put the bay tree in its terra-cotta pot at the center of your parterre to create a focal point.

Herb and Bay Tree ParterreEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Apply a Layer of Slate Chippings

Plant the herbs, water them and cover the whole parterre in a layer of gravel. This will hide the landscape fabric and further help seal in moisture. Other mulching materials can be used, such as slate chippings. Tip: Allow the boxwoods to grow a little taller than their required height, but nip off the tips of the side shoots to encourage bushy growth. When the plants are tall enough, set a line of string at the right height and clip along the hedge with shears (Image 2).

12Next »

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

We Recommend...

Create a Checkerboard Garden

Create a Checkerboard Garden

This simple design of paving stones and plants can be used to create a dramatic courtyard or a fun space for children. Plant it...

Create a Beautiful Bog Garden

Create a Beautiful Bog Garden

Some fabulous plants will only grow in soil that is permanently moist, and even if you don't have a boggy area in your garden,...

Create a Mobile Container Garden

Create a Mobile Container Garden

Add portable green space to your patio using galvanized metal trash cans and casters.


HGTV Outdoors Newsletter

Find out how to make the most of patios, decks and all your outdoor areas, plus tips from master gardeners for beautiful flower beds and bountiful vegetable gardens.