When you’ve got to have a French-Style Château de Versailles tree box for a tree just bought…
You start by looking at them online and find out the originals are a small fortune to buy. But, you inquire anyway…
The «Château de Versailles®» tree-box is available in 12 colours and 8 sizes.
These quintessential Tree Boxes are made exclusively by Jardins du Roi Soleil in France out of cast iron and oak for the Palace at Versailles. Each displays the castle’s beautiful orange trees which are wheeled in and out of the Orangerie each spring and rolled back in late fall, just as they always have been…
The company makes their…
patented garden boxes adapted from models created by landscape designer André le Nôtre in the 17th century.”Jardins de Roi Soleil
You’ll remember that I watched the movie based somewhat loosely on the life of le Nôtre, adding in Kate Winslet’s character as Sabine de Barre, a landscape designer of the Ballroom Garden and water fountain there at Versailles in this post ~ Garden Shows to Watch and My Own Petite Jardin.
So then, after drooling over these French-style tree boxes for several years and now needing one, you write to said company inquiring if the cast iron parts can be purchased separately (knowing full well the answer is NO).
“WELL, then how much would one box cost?” Each is exclusive to the buyer with the owner’s name and number engraved on an iron plate on the side of each box. I have yet to hear back, but…
It’s going to be about $5,000 US, my guess…
It’s like buying diamonds. When the price for them gets to be close to what you’d pay for a car, then it’s not in the cards!
*Note: when I was newly married and out visiting my parents, I once tried on an incredible 3 carat marquis-shaped diamond ring worth $18,000 at the mall in Danbury, Connecticut, near my parents’ last home.
Next you begin thinking deviously about how you can just “charge it” to a credit card, but then remember that you’ve sworn off cc’s a number of years ago, thereby working on getting out of debt…
So you turn to plans and Etsy! and find the Fifties Dad and his awesome planter boxes for about $1800 at MidCenturyWoodShop. Better! Plus he works out of Nevada City, California, where my best friend from high school’s sister lives. I could have gone there in September when I was back for Sara’s wedding (Janet’s daughter).
I shared years ago about a long hike we all took around their town when I was up visiting for Thanksgiving.
I also found a good YouTube video by Peter Millard on How to Make a Versailles Planter. I like his instruction and I’ve put it here as much for you all as for myself.
And you find this pretty close Versailles Planter created by Forever Redwood out of sustainable forest redwood for about $2000, depending upon size (above). Liking the style!
The original oak planters made by Jardins de Roi Soleil come apart on all four sides for easy care of your tree’s roots. This planter box by Forever Redwood also comes apart.
I found various other planter boxes available on Amazon, Wayfair and Overstock but these were all resin self-watering containers. Not really what I wanted for the redbud tree we have.
Why do you want the sides to come apart?
Any tree or plant living inside a box, planter, or pot, as we all learn as we garden, uses up its soil and nutrients every couple of years and needs new soil for better health. Trees planted permanently in boxes need their roots trimmed and new soil added to their planter boxes in the same way. Having four “doors” to get into your tree gives you access to each side, in case it appears that one side needs special attention.
So this is where I am at with regards to finding a French-style Château de Versailles tree box… We have cedar pallet wood available for reuse but I’d probably go buy fresh and look for redwood. Both are bug resistant but redwood is better!
I am still looking for plans but need to get going soon for this tree to begin rooting in before it flowers here this spring. I’d really like a pre-built model but building it myself will be the best option. 🙂
In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”Margaret Atwood
Time to get busy creating,
Hugs, Barb 🙂
10 thoughts on “When You Just Have to Have a French-Style Château de Versailles Planter Box…”
These planters are gorgeous. I had a wood planter like the Rozy Wood one for years and used it until it actually rotted and fell apart! Loved that movie and blogged about it several years ago. Knowing you, you’ll build a gorgeous one. I like the idea of the wheels that make it so much more convenient. Happy first week of Spring!
HI Debra! Happy first week of spring to you, too!! You know, I hadn’t even noticed the wheels… I never have heard back from them but I will look at copying some of these ideas. Time to get busy designing!
Enjoy your spring weather (hopefully you have some!),
I love these planters but my jaw dropped when I saw the prices, that is madness. I must admit that they do look good and stylish. I will have to try and build my own. Thanks for sharing.
Hello, yes they are incredibly expensive… There’s NO WAY I could buy one, but I could spend a $200 and make one with good wood, so that’s my next project. 🙂 We have some hinges around in our garage, so I’ll try and use those to save a little, if not, those big gate hinges aren’t too expensive. 🙂
Thank you for stopping by!
I really enjoyed reading all about your hunt for Versailles planters. Gosh, they’re expensive. We could buy a second hand car for that price here in South Africa. It doesn’t look to difficult to make though. Perhaps you can add hinges at the bottom so the sides flip down? No idea how they’re flipping open on the real thing. Hope you get to make one soon. I’d love to see the plans.
Michelle, thank you, that’s a great idea to have the sides lay down. Maybe with piano hinges, at least on one side. I know when I studied the planters, they have slatted bottoms for drainage and others have large drainage holes. Have you ever seen Bunny Something (I forget her last name at the moment, she is a niece of David Austin, Sr.) from the UK? She plants in pots and planters for clients all the time and just leaves or saws out the bottoms of planters, so the trees root right into their surroundings. Really lovely effect! She is out on YouTube if you look up Bunny and gardens.
Anyway, off to work!
No kidding on the used car, Michelle! How they flip open is actually more like a swinging gate. I think the Versailles planters have iron pins that pull out and the sides come off. I like your idea of adding two hinges to the bottom (of at least one side) to be able to pull the tree out, if needed. Anyway, once inside, it’s never moving so I’d have to know exactly where I want the thing planted. Just waiting on approval for the fence move from the city (not hopeful). I have to submit electrical plans next. 🙂
Heading off to work…
Love these – I have been wanting new planter boxes for the front door and also to hang on the patio. Great inspiration.
Thank you, Rosemary! I hope you get some new planter boxes for your front patio soon.
Happy spring to you,