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Knot and Parterre Vegetable and Herb Gardens

Updated on February 6, 2014

Vegetable and Herb Knot and Parterre Gardens

There have been many different garden styles down through the centuries. Two formal garden styles which appeared around the sixteenth century in Europe were the knot garden and the parterre.

On this page you will see some pictures of knot gardens and parterres. I am also providing some plans of vegetable and herb gardens made in the style of knot or parterre gardens so you can implement these garden styles in your own front or back yard. Use one of these ideas for your own vegetable or herb garden or have fun designing your own.

Picture credit: Parterre herb garden

Kinoith, Shanagarry. (Dr Charles Nelson) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Knot Gardens

Knot Gardens
Knot Gardens

© Copyright Jill Clardy

and licensed for reuse under the CC BY-SA 2.0 License.

A new style of gardening came into vogue in Britain in the 16th century - the knot garden. A knot garden is a garden which looks like a Celtic knot, with lines that weave under and over each other. In a knot garden, these lines are made out of a grouped planting of one particular plant, mostly herbs or a hedging plant (such as lavender, rosemary, hyssop, or box). The plants needed to be regularly trimmed to keep the woven appearance. The spaces were filled with colored gravel, sand, other plants, a topiary, trellis arches and arbors.

More pictures of knot gardens

knot garden 1

(CC BY-ND 2.0)Click To Enlarge

knot garden 2

(CC BY 2.0)Click To Enlarge

knot garden 3

(CC BY-SA 2.0)Click To Enlarge

knot garden 4

(CC BY 2.0)Click To Enlarge

Parterre Gardens

Parterre Gardens
Parterre Gardens

Bodysgallen Hall parterre garden, Wales (C Michael Hogan) / CC BY-SA 2.0

The 16th century in France saw the development of parterres - an area (often a lot bigger than the knot gardens) planted with geometric design made out of clipped box plants or even grass cut into patterns. These gardens were slightly easier to look after than knot gardens because they didn't need such regular pruning to keep lines looking like they were woven over and under. Strictly speaking, parterre gardens had few flowers, if any. The hedge patterns were usually set on a background of sand, crushed brick, or charcoal.

Parterre and knot gardens are at their best when viewed from above, so many are placed in view of an upstairs window or balcony.

More Parterre Garden Pictures

parterre garden 1

(CC BY-SA 2.0)Click To Enlarge

parterre garden 2

(CC BY 2.0)Click To Enlarge

parterre garden 3

(CC BY-SA 2.0)Click To Enlarge

parterre garden 4

(CC BY-SA 2.0)Click To Enlarge

Knot Gardens and Parterres Book

Knot Gardens and Parterres
Knot Gardens and Parterres

Learn the history of knot gardens and parterres and also how to create your own knot garden.


Ideas for making your own knot or parterre vegetable or herb gardens

Design your own knot or parterre vegetable / herb garden

The knot and parterre garden plans pictured below were all produced using this online vegetable garden planning tool.

Hedge Parterre Vegetable Garden
Hedge Parterre Vegetable Garden

Hedge Parterre Vegetable Garden

This vegetable garden is designed to be bordered by low hedges (you could use an edible hedge eg rosemary, cherry bush, or a mass planting of chives or carrots). Because of the difficulty in accessing this garden, I have limited the choice of vegetables to those which are harvested infrequently (with the exception of the zucchini, which is more easily accessed because it is on the outside. This parterre includes the following vegetables:

- sweetcorn

- pumpkin

- summer squash

- sweet potatoes

- peanuts (how to grow peanuts)

Path Parterre Herb and Vegetable Garden
Path Parterre Herb and Vegetable Garden

Path Parterre Herb and Vegetable Garden

This herb parterre uses paths to make the geometric pattern instead of the traditional hedges. This garden contains the following herbs and vegetables:

- spinach

- carrots

- parsley

- garlic chives

- coriander

- marjoram

- loose leaf lettuce

Tea Parterre Garden
Tea Parterre Garden

Tea Parterre Garden

This parterre features a path of low growing plants (such as chamomile, prostrate thyme, or dwarf mondo grass), stepping stones, a garden pond, and herbs suitable for making tea. The garden includes:

- chamomile

- 2 different types of mint

- lemon balm

- fennel

- parsley

- marigold

Square Knot Garden

Square Knot Garden
Square Knot Garden

This garden, inspired by this Celtic knot pattern, gives the impression of being a knot garden by the way the herbs and vegetables are laid out, without you having to do any pruning. It includes:

- loose leaf lettuce

- beetroot

- garlic chives

- nasturtium

- cosmos

- feverfew

Small Herb Knot Garden Plan
Small Herb Knot Garden Plan

Smaller Herb Knot Garden Plan

This herb knot garden measures 10' x 10'. It contains the following herbs:

- oregano

- parsley

- lemon balm

- sage

- basil

- thyme

- borage

- cornflower

- marigold

Versailles Sunburst Raised Garden Kit

Dimensions: 5.5'' deep x 10 ½ feet diameter


Pleasure Garden Book

Pleasure Garden
Pleasure Garden

This is an intriguing book which walks through the history of British gardening. I used this book in researching this page.


Have you ever tried making a knot garden or parterre?

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    • profile image

      michaelhaggen 5 years ago

      No. I haven't tried. I've seen a lot of parterre style garden and it is so beautiful.

    • mermaidsbite profile image

      mermaidsbite 5 years ago

      My best herb garden ever was a round parterre style, but with rock pathways. After being inspired by your lens, I'm aching to create a new garden!

    • freesamplerevie profile image

      freesamplerevie 5 years ago

      What beautiful gardens! Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Muebles de host profile image

      Muebles de host 5 years ago

      so many kinds...very nice lens. thank you

    • Fox Music profile image

      Fox Music 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this lens "Knot and Parterre Vegetable and Herb Gardens"

    • profile image

      amblesidecentral 5 years ago

      Absolutely beautiful, thanks

    • pauly99 lm profile image

      pauly99 lm 5 years ago

      Absolutely beautiful gardens and I never knew there were so many different kinds.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is an excellent example of superior writing. It's been very useful for me. Everything is very open and represents very clear explanation of issues. Really blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it. Your website is very useful. Thank you for your post, I look for such article along time, today I find it finally this postgive me lots of advise it is very useful for me. I will pay more attention to you , I hope you can go on posting more such post, I will support you all the time. This was just what I was on looking for. I'll come back to this blog for sure! I bookmarked this blog a while ago because of the useful content and I am never being disappointed. Keep up the good work.

    • daisychainsaw lm profile image

      daisychainsaw lm 5 years ago

      I haven`t tried to make one yet, but your lens makes it look easy! Thanks for sharing!

    • absolutelycreat profile image

      absolutelycreat 5 years ago

      Haven't done but It is a nice picture. I love to have one Vegetable and herb parterre.

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 5 years ago from US

      Wow. those Parterre Gardens take your breath away. Gorgeous.

    • knitstricken profile image

      knitstricken 5 years ago

      I've never tried, but I'd like to... and this lens motivates me all the more. Thank you! :o)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      they are good tips on gardening..good info...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      hey..i am impressed with your gardening i wanna also share and apply

    • profile image

      moonlitta 5 years ago

      I've positively been here before, but don't mnd coming back at all thanks to seeing it on the front page:)

    • SandraWilson LM profile image

      SandraWilson LM 5 years ago

      No, but that herbal tisane parterre garden got me drooling. I may have to give this a try one day. Nice lens!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      These are so beautiful. Thank you for the lens.

    • profile image

      Karamerica 5 years ago

      Very nice lens!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I had never heard of these types of gardens. Your lens is inspiring. Thanks

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 5 years ago

      I've never made one before but they look really cool! Thanks so much for sharing this and congrats on front page honors! Angel blessed~

    • graphite75 profile image

      Tom 5 years ago

      Very cool vegetable and herb gardens!

    • profile image

      laurenrich 5 years ago

      I have not tried making a knot garden or parterre, but I have been inspired to make one. Thanks for sharing this beautiful lens.

    • JessStone profile image

      JessStone 5 years ago

      Beautiful! Love your lens!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      I decided I needed to Pin this one! Thanks

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens. Congrats on the feature and Happy Valentine's Day.

    • profile image

      miller83 5 years ago


    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Oh boy another of your great garden lenses - and I have never seen this! Parterre may definitely have a place in my life. Pinned to my how does your garden grow board and blessed.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      This is such a creative way to both landscape and grow food or herbs. I love it!

    • profile image

      gradientcat 5 years ago

      Wow, I've never tried anything that fancy.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      very very very nice place I hope get the garden look like that.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Love this lens.

    • J Crane profile image

      J Crane 5 years ago

      Very nice! A lot of interesting information

    • carocwn profile image

      carocwn 5 years ago

      I like both the knot and parterre garden. Great lens to read.

    • profile image

      LadyDuck 5 years ago

      Beautiful gardens and beautiful lens.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I really like the raised knot garden kit. Very nice designs!

    • FB-Explorer profile image

      FB-Explorer 5 years ago


    • JuneNash profile image

      June Nash 5 years ago

      I am trying to figure out what I want to do in my back yard. I love the idea of the knot gardens. Especially the Tea Parterre Garden because it has paths. I like to walk through gardens. Thanks for the ideas!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Looks beautiful! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image

      Accounting-firm 5 years ago

      definitely awesome!!!

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 5 years ago

      I ahven't but it appeals to my sense of tifiness. Also, access to vegetables would appear to be easir.

    • ZenSquid profile image

      ZenSquid 5 years ago

      Great ideas and very nice lens!

    • Lakegirl LM profile image

      Lakegirl LM 5 years ago from Australia

      Unfortunately in our harsh Australian weather I can just keep my plants alive. Not to mention the rabbits and kangaroos munching my plants! But I would love a parterre garden.

    • profile image

      Stuwaha 5 years ago

      I could never grow one myself however I have nothing but respect for the people who are able to maintain such an amazing living work of art. :)

    • profile image

      NewUsedCarsSacramento 5 years ago

      All the gardens look so beautiful. The designs are also amazing.

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 5 years ago

      No, but it looks very beautiful and is a great idea.

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 5 years ago

      Ah, yes. I tried to make one in a community garden. I am actually trying again, using rosemary as the border. A good friend suggested I try rosemary, she says it is used as a hedge plant in Italy. I really love these styles of gardens and have spent hours doing water colour versions of these gardens. You have taught me what they are called! Thank you for creating such a lovely article.

    • profile image

      cleanyoucar 5 years ago

      Haven't but it looks interesting

    • Klaartje Loose profile image

      Klaartje Loose 5 years ago

      No, but I visited some great ones and really appriciate them!

    • CubScouter94 profile image

      Tasha Marie 5 years ago from Mahomet, Illinois

      LOVE your lens!

    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 5 years ago

      This is very beautiful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have not seen anything like this in live. Whenever I see such gardens on TV or anywhere else, I think "wow". It's amazing.

    • ReputationExpert profile image

      ReputationExpert 5 years ago

      OMGoodness! These are stunning!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I really like the pictures, really awesome snaps.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is really neat.

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 5 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      I'd love to give it a try in my huge backyard ... but the temperatures in my area fluctuate from below freezing in the winter and easily to 110+ degrees in the summer ...and we don't get much water. So, I'll have to try something else. Great lens, though. :-)

    • KateAdamsUSA profile image

      KateAdamsUSA 5 years ago

      my favorite is the version 1 photo. absolutely gorgeous gardens.

    • profile image

      Short_n_Sweet 5 years ago

      I want to make one now!! From the intro itself, from the first photo I saw, I wanted to make one..but then I told myself I'd never know how to plan it..... Only to find that you included the graphic plan + a free trial software!! Thanks..gonna have fun!

    • CamelliaPenny profile image

      Perrin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Gorgeous lens . . . I have never tried making one of these gardens, but I hope to do so in the future!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      How beautiful. I will only enjoy it, will never make one.

    • ladyyummy profile image

      ladyyummy 5 years ago


    • FantasticVoyages profile image

      Fantastic Voyages 5 years ago from Texas

      I have a hard time just keeping my rows straight. I doubt I could keep up with a knot garden or parterre!

    • ghebert profile image

      ghebert 5 years ago

      More inspiration for the spring! What a great lens, thank you!

    • ViJuvenate profile image

      ViJuvenate 5 years ago

      Liked. Pinned. Tweeted. Awesome!

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 5 years ago

      Wow, I always dreamed of having a Parterre garden but never knew was it was called. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jukebox LM profile image

      Jukebox LM 5 years ago

      Something tells me the planning would be more fun than the upkeep. These are amazing gardens!

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 5 years ago

      Parterre Gardens are so neat! Looks like they are a lot of work too :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I've always loved the look of knot gardens, but never had the patience to set up and maintain one. Thank you for this lovely lens.

    • KateH2 profile image

      KateH2 5 years ago

      Cool idea, very interesting designs.

    • clkbm profile image

      clkbm 5 years ago

      Knot gardening is interesting. I had never heard of it before.

    • vegetablegardenh profile image

      vegetablegardenh 5 years ago

      I haven't, but now I really do! :)

    • profile image

      lionmom100 5 years ago

      Knot gardens fascinate me, but alas, I don't believe I have enough room. Our yardwas fully planted out in perennial beds when we moved in. We have done some rearranging since and just built two raised beds for veggies. I do think that knot gardens are beautiful, though.