General information – French gardening vocabulary

I am constantly learning new vocabulary living here in France.

My son has been growing a small plant where the grass seeds grow and you trim it so it looks like ‘hair’ (very cute!). So, I have had to learn a few words to explain the process of growing plants and gardening. It surprised me how many words I didn’t know link to gardening!

France has some beautiful gardens – including the Versailles Gardens at the Château de Versailles created for King Louis IV by the designer Andre Le Notre in 1661.

Here is my list of French gardening terms you may find useful:

To cultivate a garden, it is helpful to know

•To dig – foncer

•To hoe – biner

•To plant – planter / to plant bulbs – enterrer les bulbes

•To water the plants – arroser les plantes

•To cultivate/grow – cultiver

•To prune – elaguer (elagage = pruning)

•Debroussilage – clearing undergrowth

•To weed – désherber

•To mow – tondre

You may find these handy “les outils de jardinage” (gardening tools)

•The hoe – la binette

•The rake – le râteau

•The shovel – le pelle

•The spade – la bêche

•The trowel – le transplantoir

•The garden fork – la fourche

•The pruning shears – les cisailles

•The hedge shears – le sécateur

•The hedgecutter – la tailleuse de haie

•The grass shears – les tondeurs

•The strimmer / edger – le taille-bordures / le coupe-bordures

•The axe – la hache

•The lawnmower – la tondeuse à gazon

•The wheelbarrow – la brouette

For watering your garden, you will need

•The tap – le robinet

•The watering can – l’arrosoir

•The pipe – le tuyau

•The hose – le tuyau d’arrosage

•The sprinkler – l’asperseur

Various types of garden are –

•A flower garden – le jardin floral

•An ornamental garden – le jardin d’agrément

•An allotment – le jardin communautaire

•A botanical garden – le jardin botanique

•A fruit garden – le jardin de fruit

•A vegetable garden – le jardin potager

•A roof garden – le jardin-toiture

•A rock garden – le jardin de rocaille

For your garden, you will need to buy –

•Flowering plants – les fleurir plantes

•Compost – le compost

•Compost bag – le bac de compostage

•Chippings: Bark (les déchets d’ecorçage) / Grass (les déchets de tonte)

•Shrubs – l’arbustes

•Seeds – les graines

•Seedlings – les plantes

•Tree seedlings – les semis d’arbres

•Sapling – la gaule

•Plant cuttings – les boutures de plantes

Some popular “fleurir plantes” (flowering plants) are

•Rose – la rose

•Marigold – le souci

•Tulip – la tulipe

•Crocus – le crocus

•Lily – le lys (one of my favourites)

•Iris – l’iris

•Sweet pea – le pois de senteur

•Geranium – le géranium

•Gladiolus – le glaïeul

•Chrysanthemum – le chrysanthème

•Sunflower – le tournesol (one of my favourites)

•Zinnia – le zinnia

•Aster – l’aster

•Dahlia – le dahlia

•Daisy – la pâquerette

•Carnation – l’oeillet

•Primrose – le primevère

•Peony – la pivoine

•Bluebell – la campanule

•Begonia – le bégonia

•Daffodil – la jonquille

•Jasmine – le jasmin

•Lavender – la lavande

•Azalea – l’azalée

•Orchid – l’orchidée

•Water lily – le nénufar

Here are “des arbres fruitiers” (fruit trees) that you might consider

•Orange tree – l’oranger

•Lemon tree – le citronnier

•Plum tree – le prunier

•Pear tree – le poirier

•Olive tree – l’olivier

•Cherry tree – le cerisier

•Apple tree – le pommier

•Apricot tree – l’abricotier

•Fig tree – le figuier

You may want “le meuble de jardin” (garden furniture) and “les accessoires de jardin ” (garden accessories) such as

•Garden chairs – les chaises de jardin

•A folding chair – la chaise pliant

•A child’s swing – la balançoire

•Garden benches – les bancs de jardin

•Garden tables – les tables de jardin

•A fountain- le fontaine

You can put in

•A garden path – la voie

•A garden shed – la remise

•A summer house – le pavillon de jardin

•A flower bed – le parterre

•A bedding plant – la plant à massif

•Decking – le platelage

•Earth – la terre

•Flower / shrub – la fleur / l’abrisseau

•A Garden pond – un étang de jardin

•A Fish pond – un étang à poissons

•A lily pond – un étang de lys

•Lawn turf – le gazon

•Artificial turf – le gazon artificial

•A swimming pool – la piscine

•A paddling pool – la pataugeoire

•A solar panel – panneau solaire

•A fence/railings – clôture

Miscellaneous

Garden centre – le jardinerie

To light the barbeque – allumer le barbeque

Charcoal – charbon de bois

Briquettes – les briquettes

Skewer – la brochette

To sunbathe – se dorer

Tarpaulin – bâche

Good luck with any green-fingered endeavours you may have!  I hope one day you find this blog post helpful with your own gardening. I am going to grow strawberries when the right time comes around.

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8 thoughts on “General information – French gardening vocabulary

  1. Thanks for this post…now if I only had enough money to have an apartment in Paris with a little green space. My winter window boxes are flourishing in this mild winter, but it’s not the same as having a real jardin.

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  2. Always great to expand one’s vocabulary and gardening is especially lovely!

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  3. Hello there, is there a word in French for poly-tunnel?? Thanks!

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    • Bonjour Stefanie, welcome to my blog! If you mean the type for a home greenhouse, this is commonly called ‘bâche transparente pour serre’ or ‘tunnel agricole’ (you would need to specify size). Tunnel toutabri is a larger size used for storage of livestock feed. Regards.

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    • Bonjour Stefanie, welcome to my blog! If you mean the type for a home greenhouse, this is commonly called ‘bâche transparente pour serre’ or ‘tunnel agricole’ (you would need to specify size). Tunnel toutabri is a larger size used for storage of livestock feed. Regards.

      Like

  4. Pingback: Access Riviera | Thank you ! to all my blog readers xx

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