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French Garden Terms

Camille Chevalier-Karfis By Camille Chevalier-Karfis - updated on Nov 16, 2020
typical house french garden

What’s garden in French? What about gardening? What’s the difference between yard and garden in French? What about deck, patio? Learn the French garden terms.

Many of us enjoy gardening and French gardens are renowned to be beautiful. But how to talk about gardening in French?

Were is an essential list of French garden terms.

1 – How do you say garden in French?

Garden in French is “le jardin”.

2 – Tricky French gardening terms

Don’t mistake:

  1. un jardin – a garden
  2. jardiner – the verb to garden.
    It’s a regular ER verb: je jardine, tu jardines, il/elle/on jardine, nous jardinons, vous jardinez, ils/elles jardinent.
  3. un jardinier – a male gardener (professional or someone who enjoys gardening)
  4. une jardinière – both a woman gardener and a flower planter!

And now let’s study some French gardening terms.

3 – French Garden Tools

This list French list of French gardening terms was put together with the help of French immersion teacher Eliane. Thank you Eliane!

  1. Un arrosoir = watering can
  2. Un tuyau d’arrosage = hose
  3. Une bêche = spade
  4. Une binette = hoe
  5. Une brouette = wheelbarrow
  6. Des cisailles = shears
  7. Une débroussailleuse = string trimmer
  8. Des gants de jardinage = gardening gloves
  9. Un motoculteur = cultivator
  10. Une pioche = pickaxe
  11. Une pelle = a shovel
  12. Une petite pelle de jardinage, une truelle, un transplantoir = trowel, hand shovel
  13. Un râteau = rake
  14. Un râteau à feuilles = lawn rake
  15. Un sécateur = pruner
  16. Un taille-haies = hedge trimmer
  17. Une tondeuse à gazon = lawnmower
  18. Un râteau à feuilles = lawn rake

More French tool vocabulary.

4 – French Gardening Verbs

  1. Jardiner = to garden
  2. Planter = to plant
  3. Creuser = to dig
  4. Arroser = to water
  5. Biner, bêcher, retourner la terre = to hoe
  6. Aérer = to aerate
  7. Cultiver = to cultivate
  8. Désherber = to weed
  9. Tondre = to mow
  10. Elaguer = to prune a tree
  11. Tailler = to trim a tree
  12. Transplanter = to transplant
  13. Semer = to sow
  14. Mettre en pot = to put in a pot
  15. Cueillir (irr) = to pick (as in to pick a flower)
  16. Ratisser = to rake
  17. Débroussailler = to weed (for smaller weeds we simply say “retirer les mauvaises-herbes”!)
  18. Fertiliser = apply fertiliser
  19. Récolter = to harvest
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5 – French Garden Vocabulary

  1. Une pépinière = flower nursery
  2. Une jardinerie = garden center
  3. Un jardin paysagé = landscaped garden
  4. Un paysagiste = landscaper
  5. Un parterre = flowerbed
  6. Une plate-bande = flowerbed
  7. Un pot = pot
  8. Une jardinière = planter (a long and narrow pot)
  9. Une allée = pathway, driveway
  10. Une haie = hedge
  11. Un potager = vegetable garden
  12. Un verger = fruit garden
  13. Une serre = greenhouse
  14. Un tas de compost = compost heap
  15. Des écorces (f) = mulch
  16. Un engrais = fertiliser
  17. Le sol = soil, dirt
  18. La terre = topsoil
  19. Une rocaille = rock garden
  20. Une pierre = rock (more French rock vocabulary)
  21. Du gravier = pebble
  22. Les mauvaises herbes = weeds
  23. Une herbe = herb
  24. L’herbe = grass
  25. Une graine = seed
  26. Un bulbe = bulb
  27. Une pelouse, un gazon = lawn
  28. Un arbre = tree
  29. Un arbuste = shrub
  30. À fleurs = flowering
  31. L’arrosage automatique = automatic watering system

6 – French Plant Vocabulary

Here is how to describe the different kind of plants.

  1. Une plante = plant
  2. Une plante d’intérieur = indoor plant
  3. Une plante d’extérieur = outdoor plant
  4. Une plante tropicale = tropical plant
  5. Une plante vivace = perennial
  6. Une plante annuelle = annual
  7. Une plante à feuilles persistantes = evergreen
  8. Une plante feuilles caduques = deciduous
  9. Une plante grasse = succulent
  10. Une plante en pot = potted plant
  11. Une plante d’ombre = shade plant
  12. Une plante grimpante = climber
  13. Une plante rampante = creeper

What about French flower names? I’ve dedicated a whole free lesson to flowers: just follow the link…

Did you know my French vocabulary section features over 150 free French lessons ?

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7 – What’s the difference between a garden and a yard in French?

When I lived in the US, may people used the term yard. Sometimes just yard, or front yard, back yard. They translated it as “un jardin”, but when I went to visit them, I realized that that was far from being the case…

“Un jardin” in French involves the notion of some plants, trees, grass… It doesn’t need to be a fully landscaped garden, but the mental image is about a nice, green, natural outside space.

So the translation for yard in French can be a garden, but many time, yard would better translate as “une cour”.

Let’s take some examples.

Devant ma maison, il y a un petit jardin avec des platebandes fleuries, un érable japonais et une allée.
In front of my house, there’s a small yard with flower beds, a Japanese maple tree and a walkway.

Derrière ma maison il y a une jolie cour pavée dans laquelle nous avons une table et des chaises, un grand platane, et quelques plantes en pot.
Behind my house there’s a pretty paved yard where we have a table set, a large plane tree and a fee plants in pots.

8 – How to say a deck in French?

A wooden deck in French would be “une terrasse en bois”.

In France, unless you lived by the sea, having a wooden deck around your house was not something typical. But it’s been changing lately, and more and more modern houses have one.

9 – How to say a patio in French?

It’s rather common in France to have some kind of a stone patio, or sometimes tiles. We call all these “une terrasse” and then would specified the material used : “une terrasse en pierre”, “une terrasse en carrelage”…

Dans ma maison de Paimpol, je n’ai malheureusement pas de jardin, mais j’ai une toute petite terrasse en carrelage qui me permet de me mettre au soleil.
In my house in Paimpol, unfortunately I don’t have a garden, but I have a tiny tiled patio which allows me to sunbathe.

“Une terrasse” can be in front/ back / side of a house, but it’s a term we also use for an apartment building featuring a patio.

10 – French garden structures

So to sum up, here are the names of garden structures in French.

  1. Une terrasse = deck, patio
  2. Un porche = porch
  3. Une galerie = open porch
  4. Une salle-à-manger d’été = closed porch
  5. Une véranda = verandah
  6. Une serre = greenhouse
  7. Un mur = a wall
  8. Une marche = step, stair
  9. Une dalle = slab, stepping stone
  10. Un abris de jardin = shed
  11. Une pergola, une gloriette = pergola
  12. Un gazébo, un pavillon de jardin = gazebo
  13. Une décoration de jardin = a garden decor
  14. Une sculpture = sculpture
  15. Une statue = statue
  16. Un nain de jardin = garden dwarf
  17. Un bac à sable = sandbox
  18. Un portique = swing set (more French playground vocabulary)
  19. Un bassin = pond
  20. Une cascade = waterfall
  21. Une carpe japonaise = koi fish
  22. Des salon de jardin = garden furniture set
  23. Un parasol = sun umbrella
  24. Un barbecue = barbecue

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Please react! Leave a comment, make a suggestion, share this article… Your engagement really encourages me to create more free French lessons!

Et vous ? Vous avez un jardin ? Un balcon ? Vous aimez jardiner ? Quelle sortes de plantes avez-vous dans votre jardin ?

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