A French Garden House Bastille Day

Lidy Baar's back garden French Garden House

A luxuriant corner of Lidy Baar’s back garden.

Those of us in the design world who have been knocking around social media for a while have come across and created relationships with some pretty special individuals. Lidy Baars, the executive antique dealer and curator at the French Garden House, is one of my newer friends, though no less special than the peeps I’ve known for quite a few years now.

Decorating for Bastille Day

Since tomorrow is Bastille Day—the day the French Revolution began with the storming of the Bastille in 1789—I thought we’d celebrate the French National Day here on Productrazzi by featuring Lidy’s site, which has ample flair à la française. I asked her how she found the producer of one of my favorite line of products she sells, Peter Wakefield Jackson’s Provence Plant Pots and Pedestal Plant Pots; as well as to share with Productrazzi’s readers a few tips about using French watering cans as decorative elements in interiors and garden settings, as well as on patios and terraces. Here’s what she had to say:

Peter Wakefield Jackson at French Garden House

I met Peter Wakefield last year, and was enthralled with his dedication to preserve hand-made artisan thrown garden pots, maintaining the centuries-long tradition of creating each pot individually on a potter’s wheel.

Peter Wakefield Jackson's Provence and Pedastal Pots.

Peter Wakefield Jackson’s Provence and Pedastal Pots.

Peter and I share an interest in the history of potters and pottery, and I am inspired by his desire to create opportunities for potters to produce wares that are viable in today’s marketplace. As antique terra cotta pots are getting quite rare to find in any kind of condition, his classic, elegant pottery is a perfect mix with our garden antiques.

Peter is from Wisconsin, and he has more than 30 years of experience making pottery by hand. For years, he worked with renowned master potter and friend Guy Wolff as they trained potters worldwide in the revival of 18th- and 19th-century garden wares. The pots I carry are made by artisan potters and craftsmen in Atuto, Honduras, under his direction, the designs inspired by the classic urns of the Provence region in the south of France.

Antique French Watering Cans

Antique French watering cans are emblematic of gardening, and add instant history to an interior. While the grand garden antiques may be over budget for many, an antique watering can, or collection of cans, is still within reach.

French watering cans on sale at French Garden House

French watering cans arranged in a vignette.

French watering cans tend to have graceful handles arching from the top of the can to the back: savvy collectors display one, or a whole collection for their sculptural good looks. Original paint, wear, a few dents—these all add to their charm. Display a collection on a shelf, or highlight just one watering can on a pedestal as a piece of art.

A 19th-Century red zinc watering can from French Garden House

A 19th-Century red zinc watering can, a distressed beauty bringing flair to any setting.

An antique French watering can is the perfect centerpiece for a casual dinner table: pop in a lush floral bouquet and your table is set in true French style! In today’s perfect world, the very imperfection of antique watering cans is why collectors and designers delight in them.

The French Garden House potting bench

Lidy Baar’s potting bench nestled into her garden, a perfect place to stow her treasures.

Shopping for French Antiques

Lidy has a wonderful way of expressing how she decides what antiques to curate and sell: “Your home should reflect the way you live and your passions, but most importantly, perhaps, your personal style. At French Garden House, I love to make shopping for antiques fun.” And this she has accomplished with aplomb! With more than 18 years of experience as an antiques dealer, she has a remarkable eye and she is continually sourcing so I suggest that you stop by often to see what new treasures she has found, her newest offerings in garden antiques perfect accouterments to celebrate Bastille Day (or any day), don’t you think?

French Garden House sells beautiful urns for centerpieces

An urn, from French Garden House, makes for a beautiful centerpiece for the table.

Hop over to the Improvateur blog for a fun caper depicting the garden antiques that Cinderella would buy for her new chateau in the south of France as she is shopping The Decorative Fair if you are so inclined. Happy Bastille Day, everyone!

Text of A French Garden House Bastille Day © Saxon Henry, all rights reserved. Saxon Henry is an author, poet and journalist based in New York City. Books include Anywhere But Here and Stranded on the Road to Promise.  She also produces The Diary of an Improvateur and is a columnist on Architizer.

10 thoughts on “A French Garden House Bastille Day

  1. I am so honored by your beautiful post, Saxon. Vive la France! And here’s to beautiful, personal interior design for home and garden featuring gardening antiques.

    • It was fun sharing your soulful products and point of view, Lidy; so nice to know you are offering such lovely garden finds inspired by France here in the US.

  2. Beautiful article. Felt like a visit to a home in the South of France. I especially loved those gorgeous containers.
    C’est manifique!

    • It’s true, Cheryl. With Lidy’s refined eye, looks can be deceiving: it is as if she’s really nestled into the French countryside rather than here in America. But we’re lucky she’s here so we get to enjoy the fruits of her labors to source outstanding products! Thanks for stopping by today.

  3. Wonderful piece with beautiful images! I spent a summer in Avignon – so your magnificent images brought back a host of lovely memories. The watering cans are definitely my favorites. Thanks for sharing. (Oh, and I was in Avignon on Bastille Day!)

    • Well, you are one lucky gal, Ellen! Avignon is on my bucket list because it was that momentous place where Petrarch first saw Laura. I am glad you enjoyed the post. I can’t take any credit for the visuals: that’s all Lidy. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have an incredible week…

  4. I have bought a number of things over the years from French Garden House, especially a 3′ angel which sits in my office and is my Guardian Angel. I love Lidy’s style and the reminder of a month I spent in Paris it brings to my home. I also love the gracious response one receives for any purchase. Great article!

    • Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Diane. I am equally a big fan and I am also reminded of times wandering through Paris, especially the Marche aux Puces. Lidy brings it all right back with her terrific sense of style.

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