France - The Best Plants to Grow in Your Garden
France boasts diverse climates, greatly affecting plant selection for gardening. It lies in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 10, but these zones can vary widely given France’s geographical extent.
The country is divided into four broad climatic regions: Atlantic, Continental, Mediterranean, and Mountain. The Atlantic region experiences cool summers and mild winters, with rainfall throughout the year. The Continental region, covering the interior of the country, sees colder winters and hotter summers. The Mediterranean region enjoys hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Mountain regions are cold and snowy in winter and cool in summer, with variations depending on altitude.
Choosing plants suitable for each region’s weather, temperature extremes, and hardiness zone is crucial. For the cooler Atlantic and Continental regions, gardeners might opt for hardy plants like hollyhocks, foxgloves, and geraniums. Boxwoods, yews, and hydrangeas are also widely grown.
The warmer Mediterranean region supports citrus trees, lavender, rosemary, and other aromatic herbs. Oleander and bougainvillea also thrive in this region, providing vibrant color. However, these regions can experience occasional frosts, so ensure plants either tolerate cold snaps or are adequately protected.