Design 101:The Versailles Planter

Image from Jardins du Roi Soleil

The Versailles Planter is one of the most distinct and recognizable garden containers. The planters were created for easy transportation of Louis XIV’s orange tree collection to the Orangerie during colder months at Versailles. The planter was designed by Andre Le Nortre, the original designer of the Versailles gardens, in the 1600s and were made entirely out of timber, but in the 1800’s were redesigned to feature the cast-iron frame.

Image from Jardins du Roi Soleil

The distinct features of the planters include:

  • Cast-Iron posts and banding
  • Pin construction allows for sides to be removed
  • Wood Panels – Typically oak, but can be other hardwoods
  • French Pomme de Pin adorning posts
  • The official planter has no bottom, but most reproductions include bottoms

Given the quality of the construction of these planters, they are typically very expensive and are often seen at hotels, restaurants and public gardens. The official Chateau de Versailles tree box is made by Jardins du Roi Soleil and features the same construction methods as the redesigned 1800’s boxes. You can also find versions created by Authentic Provence and Inner Gardens. Here is a selection I have found:

For what to plant in your Versailles Planter, you can always follow Louis’ lead and plant citrus trees. But with the weight of the cast-iron, you most likely will not want to move yours for the winter months. Below are some suggestions:

  • Boxwoods (both clipped and on standard)
  • Hydrangea on a Standard
  • Olive Tree

And finally here are some more photos of Versailles Planters to get you inspired:

Image from Giannetti Architects

Image from Paris on Demand

14 thoughts on “Design 101:The Versailles Planter

    • Dear Jean,

      For Jardins du Roi Soleil (original Versailles planters and supplier of the Versailles castle) the wood is high quality French oak as in the André Le Notre time.
      There are various dimensions from 50x50cm up to 1,2mx1,2m…

  1. Hello,
    I just love the Versailles planter boxes.
    What sizes do you make them in and what is the cost?

    Thanks
    Carol

  2. To whom it may concern:

    Please visit our site as we would like to be listed with you. Our company exists since 17 years and we sell throughhout the US. We offer authentic French and Italian garden Antiques and Planters including the prestigious Caisse de Versailles. I think it would be nice for your readers to know, that we always stock these planters in the US, to avoid long waiting times. These can be also custom painted upon request.

    Kindly let me know, please contact me for any other questions you might have.

    • Sorry it took me so long to get back to you…..I would recommend checking at Oxford Planters (www.oxfordplanters.co.uk)

      Best of luck! hope this helps….

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