I am finishing up a patio and outdoor room decorating for a client with a few Jardinières to get that French country décor we all like. Sometimes I stop and think where words come from.
Jardinière is a common French word for a woman gardener. The interesting thing is that flower boxes and containers for plants are also called jardinières, as often words have more than one meaning. I am thinking the origin of the name could have come possibly from the full body curvilinear women of the past, when being round was a guarantee for a good marriage and proliferation in great abundance. In fact, all the examples of jardinières I have seen are squatted, very round with a belly and feet or propped on high pedestal. Their purpose is to keep the plant and dripping water inside the pot to avoid staining elegant floors, or expensive rugs.
Jardinières are highly decorative and very valuable if they are antiques. Auctions are best places to find some good pieces from dismantled buildings that once belonged to counts now without the account, or you might find some simpler pieces at garage sales. Tall jardinières decorate entries, gardens and important event tables or they might be a good solution to store firewood near the fireplace. The low types beautify table settings and furniture.
However jardinières are not always meant for flower arrangements or to plant chili pepper trees and vegetables. We can use them for decorative balls fill them up, or to store wood for the fireplace, or incoming mail until we decide to read it. Ciao,
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