France features a wide variety of flora due to the many different climates within the country. French gardens are known for their lush foliage and colorful flowers. Becoming familiar with some of the more popular plants and flowers in France can greatly enhance your appreciation for French gardening while developing ideas for your own.
Found only in the Mediterranean coastal regions of France, the olive tree is a prized and popular plant in France. The olive trees of France are believed to produce some of the best quality olives in the world. The olive tree is considered an evergreen shrub and typically reaches heights between 25 and 50 feet high. It features oblong, silvery leaves and has a gnarled and twisted trunk. Small flowers in shades of white appear on the stems along with the famous fruit which is harvested while still green or purple. Olive trees are generally hardy and drought resistant and are known for their long lives.
The iris is a popular perennial flower both in France and around the world. Several different varieties of the iris are available, including the bearded iris, Siberian iris, spuria iris and yellow flag. Iris flowers bloom in spring and are generally easy and dependable flowers to grow. Blooms range in shades of pink, orange, red, lilac, yellow and white. The elegance of the iris bloom has been revered throughout history and mythology. It was commonly used as a symbol for royal families and monarchs, representing power and position. Place irises in flower gardens for a dramatic statement and delicate beauty.
Rose bushes are found throughout the country of France and are a favorite among home gardeners and landscapers. This historic flower comes in many different cultivars, but all characterized by the numerous delicate petals that make up the blooms. The rose bush is a hardy flower shrub known for its rounded shape. It produces fragrant flowers all summer long. Roses typically need adequate space to thrive and usually reach heights up to 6 feet. Full sun exposure is necessary for frequent and vibrant blooming. Highly fertile, organic and well-draining soils are preferred for optimal bloom. Blooms range in shades of pink, white, red and orange. The rose has historically been used as a symbol of love, politics, war and beauty. There are more than 150 cultivars of rose available today.