ISSUE 75  |  Travels with an Editor: Paris

Design Sleuth: A Planter with Pedigree

June 03, 2013 3:00 PM

BY Janet Hall

Strolling the gardens at Versailles or the Tuileries in Paris, one can’t help but notice that many of the trees aren’t rooted in the ground. The planter boxes steal the show.

Beautifully designed, Versailles tree boxes are most often seen at palaces, hotels, and grand public spaces. While the originals are investment pieces for sure, you can add a taste of French chateau to your garden with a Versailles-style tree box. We’ve found the official source, as well as alternate (more affordable) options for the more diminutive home garden. 

Above: The gardens at Versailles lined with trees planted in boxes. The boxes were created for Louis the XIV’s orange tree collection by Andre Le Notre, the original designer of the Versailles Gardens. The trees were grown in boxes as they needed to be moved to the Orangerie at Versailles to survive the winter months.

Above: Citrus trees in the Orangerie of the Chateau de Compiegne in Oise. 

Above: The official Chateau de Versailles Tree Boxes from Jardins du Roi Soleil are made in France using traditional artisan techniques and the highest quality materials designed to last upwards of 150 years.  Each box features French oak wood panels with cast iron posts and banding.  Pin construction allows the sides to open for easy access.  The bottom is a slatted grate, allowing for drainage. 

Above: Versailles Tree Boxes are stunning as a solo piece or in groups. Not limited to use with citrus trees, they can house olive trees, boxwood (especially topiary), and even palm trees (Louis the XIV loved exotic plants). 

Above: The Jardins du Roi Soleil Chateau de Versailles Tree Boxes are offered in eight sizes ranging from 19.6 inches wide to the very large 60-inch-wide size capable of holding large trees. They are available in 12 colors, including the classic Versailles green. Custom finishes are also available. Contact AJF Design for pricing and ordering details.

Above: The large 34.5-inch solid redwood Paris Planter from Mecox Gardens features .25-inch thick wrought iron hammered black banding; $9,000. 

Above: Kimball and Bean offers the handmade 24-inch Cedar Versailles Style Planter Box, made to order for $595.  Custom colors and galvanized steel liners are available.  

Above: The Barlow Tyrie Caisse Versailles Planter is teak and has drainage holes in the bottom.  It can be filled with soil directly or with a liner, if preferred. It measures 18 inches wide and 20 inches tall; $699 at All Modern. 

We have many more Planter Ideas to peruse. Julie particularly likes these Artful Planters From Belgium.