12 May 2012

Chinese Lanterns In A French Garden

lantern, garden, candles, tree, chinese, provence, saint remy de provence, france, french essence, vicki archer

I have always had a crush on candles.

I think you might have guessed that… and I have always loved lanterns.

Chinese ones in particular, they are so portable.. like here…

I tied them up, with string, in our plane trees one evening and I think they added that extra piece of ambience…

For parties I go crazy with the lanterns in the garden… paper ones, small glass jars… any that I can get my hands on.

When the sun sets and the tea lights start flickering, the garden becomes a magical place.

I have always thought that candles are the best, prettiest and most effective way to decorate… xv

image exclusive to living4media

photography carla coulson – styling vicki archer

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Sophia Kent

Ma mere et moi adore votre blog! I have just moved from Sydney to Lyon for an internship (first job out of uni…a bit scary!) and made a special trip to cire trundon en route in paris to pick up her favourite candle for mothers day (candles we discovered thanks to you!), mademoiselle de la vallière.
have a lovely weekend and mothers daysx


Hi V. Your new site is looking great, Congrats. I am also totally candle mad. Two days ago I woke up to a dark cold morning with no electricity!! I lit all the candelabras and scented candles before I woke up the rest of the house. Everyone was enchanted and instead of good mornings I was greeted by gasps of “How beautiful, and no one minded the cold water in the showers!” Luckily my gas stove provided the coffee and tea water!”

Glamour Drops

I adore the flickering magical light of candles in gardens too. But in our current garden, I am always a little nervous about starting a bushfire – as we are surrounded by so many fabulous old eucalypts. So they have to be the fully glass-contained versions. Which are still beautiful. Your garden is incredibly lovely – I love that all is not revealed in one glance.


Bonjour Vicki,

I’m a tad embarrassed to admit this, but you know those tiny yogurt jars (par example la Laitiere). . . well, after I’m finished the yummy yogurt, I put tea lights in them and scatter them around where we sit in my garden in the evening. I love it. I have quite a collection – they sparkle like fairy lights. Lovely ideas . . . thank you for being there to share my French experiences.

Jo Campion

What a beautiful garden scene. Going to the shops right now to see if I can pick up Chinese lanterns.
Thank you as always for brightening up my day. Have a good weekend.

Kim Grey

There is something simply magical about candlelight and lantern-light flickering in the garden in evening. Your lanterns and garden are both so lovely! Have a wonderful weekend, Vicki!

Belinda Klein

Hi Vicki,
I too love candles, my favourite being the brand Glasshouse gardenia scent. I burn a lovely cinnamon and fig through winter, but unfortunately it stimulates the appetite. Senses say aahh, thighs say aaaahhhh.
I have just bought 2 beautiful morrocan lanterns for our new house and can’t wait to watch the colours come alive behind the candles.
Have a wonderful Mothers Day Vicki
Belinda x

La Vie en Rose

With you on the lanterns and candles Vicki! like all types aswell, the light from them is just so romantic and atmospheric!



I am mad for them Vicki, I have them all over the house and garden. There is just something about candlelight that is quite magical. Your lanterns are really nice. xx

Karen in CT

.. candle make it all happen … beautiful shot … happy weekend

Karen in CT

Kellyn L.

The lanterns are lovely, but so is the garden. Looks like the perfect place to roll out a blanket and picnic under the twinkling lights.


Hi Vicki – Another beautiful story – thank you for the experience. I too love candles – can’t get enough of them. Just sitting being entranced by the flicker of a flame is so relaxing, soothing & therapeutic I think!

Looking forward to the next special story!

Kind Regards

Heather in Arles

Candle mad? Candle obsessed is more like it and I always have been. In my tiny apartments in NYC, it was always something that could be guaranteed to make the space beautiful no matter how poor I was. Like you, I loved putting lanterns everywhere in our last garden–we would even hang up a candelabra in the middle for parties! The lanterns are all tucked away in storage now but I still have my candles in the fireplace to light all year round.

Bon weekend! And I wish you a wonderful, luxurious Mother’s Day a bit in advance!

Completely Classic

The lanterns are beautiful against the greenery in your garden. I don’t have an lanterns, but love candles, especially scented candles. Next to try are the Astier de Villatte candles.
Happy Weekend!

joanna brazier

Yes, I am candle mad, just like you Vicki!
I am currently preparing for a dinner party at home tomorrow night and have just placed fifty tea lights in various containers and arranged “the last of the season” David Austin and Cecile Brunner roses throughout our little cottage.
Now to think about cleaning the silver and planning the menu …
My priorities have always swayed to the aesthetic first !

“French Essence” looks fresh and clean, yet still maintains a wonderful,warm welcome “- not easy to achieve as I am discovering as I dust off my blog, “the daily baguette” …
Thanks for helping to keep beauty in our lives, Joanna Brazier


I love how romantic lanterns are in the garden. I have some very interesting ones, and love them all.


I love candles, too!! They are all over my home- I find them so relaxing.
You have inspired me to try them in my garden this summer (summers are so fleeting in Canada- I need to squeeze all the joy in that I can.!!) Thanks for the inspiration.

déjà pseu

Oh, I love those, just fabulous! We have some assorted lanterns hanging under our pergola, but these would be nice additions.


OH yes Vicki, I love candles, and your garden looks truly lovely, I would love to see it lit up at night, it does sound magical. I love the paper ones my porch at night they look so pretty.


My small garden also has a plethora of lights…………looped white fairy lights and Chinese style lanterns of vintage floral papers in the gazebo, along with two beautiful hanging Indian glass/silver metal candle holders, my latest find.
On the outdoor dining table on the back deck I have Ikea metal lanterns – red and black – with candles ready to be lit at dusk if we’re outside.
On the front porch I have a hanging chandelier with white candles which I light on a Summer evening when we sit out with an aperitif – remember it gets dark much earlier here in the Southeast US than in Europe – and a standing candolier on the table with more white candles. When I look about my outdoor spaces I’m surprised at all the lights!

Your choices are lovely Vicki – and I know your gardens are spectacular. Stars in the olive trees would be wonderful!
Your new look on the blog is great – but so was the old of course! All lovely.
Hugs – Mary


This photo took my breath away! I love candles…. scented candles any candles. I have some lovely lanterns and containers for them in the garden but rarely can enjoy them at night since the mossies love them too and I’m eaten alive :(


Corrina Tough

Hi Coco, don’t know which part of the world you live in but Morteen makes glass lanterns that look like black carriage lanterns- you put a chemical pad in the draw at the top and the special candle (included in the kit)they give off light and kill those pesky mozzies! xxCorrina.


Wow thank you Corrina. I live in Oz and I haven’t seen the lanterns you speak of but will do some research to see if I can purchase them, maybe on-line.

Coco xx


Love the Chinese lanterns and candles. I too think they are the most beautiful way to decorate. Your gardens are lovely.

Amy Kortuem

Yes! I love candles, too. Though I have been leaning toward the battery-operated ones to prevent my large, white, hairy, Harry The Cat from setting himself on fire – he has no clue how far his fur extends from his body so he might think he’s “near” the candle when the fluff of his tail is actually ON it!

Last summer, my Mom and I scoured stores for beautiful and unique lanterns. I helped her hang them from the pergola my brother built her. At night, it’s a magical place to sit and watch the garden and the fireflies.

Ginny Schmidt

Your garden is lovely!. No wonder you love to spend a lot of time in it….I get so much inspiration from your blogs….thank you.

Jeanne McKay Hartmann

Vicki, I love the flickering of candlelight – especially in a garden on a warm summer night like lots of fairies fluttering in the warm air. Thanks for all these terrific sources – with summer around the corner I’m looking for new ways to light things up. Happy Weekend!

Andrina Treadgold

I love the new site, I too am candle mad and this week my first stop in Paris was the Diptyque store in Saint Germain. I am in French heaven having a wonderful time in Paris following many of your blog recommendations.
Happy Australian mothers day on Sunday.
Andrina x


So beautiful Vicki! I love the feeling your photos create! They inspire me very much. Loving the French gardens! Candles and lanterns are a great way to create mood in the garden. Thank you!

Nancie B

Love lanterns. We have a cabin in the woods in Colorado and there is always a huge fire danger there-dry, windy, lots of fire tinder. I fill my lanterns with the tiny battery operated tea lights and have all the magic with none of the fear or fines.
LOVE them nestled in the trees….


Your garden is very beautiful.
Yes, I’m mad about candles. Always have a few around the house. Different scent for different season and mood. Candle light dinner is my favorite :)



The chinese lanterns look beautiful in your garden! I too LOVE candles! I light one in my office and kitchen every morning.

I wrote a piece on Thursday about blogger stores and gifts for mother’s day, and I included your blog and your books!

I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Genie - Paris and Beyond

It is impossible to have too many candles and absolutely everything/anything looks better accompanied by the glow of candles. They turn a nice veranda into a movie set and a kid’s treehouse into an adult’s wine party… endless possibilities!

Love the shot you have shown.


Sue Profit

All my friends & family know that I adore candles, so I always get a few on Christmas & birthday. I also give them on special occasions. No one can have too many candles!!


How charming, Vicki, to see a garden in France and Chinese motifs complementing each other! Gardens are a kind of “wedding” between ourselves and nature; and, as in many a good marriage, the exchange of care and subsequent delight is magical.

Candlelight: is there any glow more dreamlike and contemplative?


Hi Vicki, I love the new site–so easy to use and beautiful. At first glance, I thought that the photo of your garden was a water color–so ethereal in the fading light. Have a great week-end. Mary

Thyme (Sarah)

So pretty. I have some little red beaded ones that line the walkway up to our front door. They have moved with us into each new home. I like the little flicker of candles at dusk when guests arrive.

Leslie Basham

Not only do you send beautiful ideas and pictures, but you also do the shopping! Thanks!
I love to “arm chair” travel with you.

Bonnie Morgan

Thanks for motivating me to have a garden party and use my lanterns.

Thanks for the great giveaway.


Hi Vicki
You have an enchanting garden and the candles in those lanterns make it all the more dreamy. Is that a gardenia candle I smell?
Gorgeous pictures!!



I’m going to order a few of these lanterns for our yard. They add something magical to the environment!

Happy Mothers Day


the perfectly scented candle can soothe the soul some days, or just lift the spirit .
and candle light ooooh, aaah. Love the lanterns in your trees and appreciate the
links, some nice deals. merci

Corrina Tough

Vicki, along with books my next fav thing is candles. I have so many different kinds- in my bedroom I have some beautiful natural French candles in glass that have divine fragrance that makes my bedroom a sensory dream, I have all sorts of pillar style ones too and little candelabras for the dining table but what I love most of all is candles outside. Hanging from the roof of my undercover back deck is a French style white iron lantern that you put at least three large pillar candles in. This hangs ove rmy outdoor table. Then I have created my own lanterns from those gorgeous bon maman french jam jars and using wire I make a handle around the rim and hang all round the perimeter of my deck and in the garden in trees. Put in a tea light and viola instant lantern that looks beautiful but is also recycling! I have a couple that are made from those extra large glass olive jars and I can put a much larger candle inside those so they burn longer. At night these look as good(if not better) than any bought lantern and we got to eat the jam too!! I have also made these as gifts for people and include a bunch of tea lights to get them started- everyone can use a little lantern. Morteen make these funky lanterns that look like little black iron carriage lanterns. You insert a chemical pad in a draw at the top and open the door at the front of the lantern to place a candle that comes with the kits. This heats up the pad and kills mozzies and flies but also gives off light!! I have some of those around my deck too so I don’t get eaten alive at night. xxCorrina.


Candles in a garden are something I love too. Candles and lanterns give off such a beautiful warm glow in a fresh garden setting. Perfect ambience for spring and summer outdoor living.

I have resubscribed to your new blog site and am now also subscribed to your Daily Click that I was not aware of until you mentioned it recently. It is wonderful!

Have an extraordinary Mother’s Day!

Becky G

I’m in love with your garden, Vicki! Our gardens of the southwest are so different. Beautiful in their own right, but different. Thanks for the inspiration!

La Comtesse Lola

I love the lanterns!

Life is so funny…the things we thought were important are replaced with that which simply is…a kind word, a true love, a good friend…and of course, a glass of champagne in the garden at twilight, with girl friends, under trees, hung with lanterns!

Cheers Vicki!



Seriously, all the photos of your house and garden are divine. They serve as my vision board for the future! A place in Provence – love!

Anna de Marigny

Candles twinkling in a garden at night create an atmosphere of amazing enchantment . I have moved to Ireland from South Africa and I’m hoping that the Irish summer will be warm enough to warrant many magical candle lit evenings.
I love them at different levels and in containers as diverse as jars and hurricane lamps .
I’m loving your new website Vicki . It offers such a feast for the senses,so inspirational !

Shell Sherree

Absolutely, Vicki. Candles = instant magic. I’ve succumbed to some good quality flameless ones as well for my coffee table, where the breeze often blows the curtains right over that spot and my kitty cat also likes to wander. I felt like an unromantic traitor when I first turned them on, but they are surprisingly pretty and lifelike, and worth it for the peace of mind in that particular location! Have a beautiful weekend…

trish Murphy

Lanterns and candles create such a lovely atmosphere! It is like dressing the garden.I have so many lanterns all styles and have been an avid candle collector since my teens. Love the photos of the garden.x Trish


Love the lanterns! Beautiful garden! I see you and I have similiar plants… Russian sage? Love gardening!

Teresa @ Splendid Sass

Your garden is just gorgeous, Vicki. I see the beautiful lavender. Your Chinese lanterns are perfect of the setting for all of your candles and lanterns. There is nothing more beautiful than candles flickering around all you.
Happy Saturday.

Debra George

I love the flicker of candles. In my yard candles compete with camping lanterns…my hubbies love. At least they flicker. I have to say though I love your garden. We just moved to Cape Cod and have a large untamed yard. Someday I hope it will look like yours!!


How beautiful your garden looks Vicki and, I can just imagine it in the evening with the flickering candlelight…….lots of envy coming from over here !!!!!
I have just been out in our garden, trying to clear weeds from our Victorian brick patio. Hard work !!
Have a lovely weekend Vicki. XXXX

Irene S.

What a lovely, dreamy garden! It’s a reminder to use candles whenever and wherever you can.

Pamela Terry

I have tons of them that I hang in the branches of the magnolia tree. Up inside, where we have the glass table and chairs with a candlelit chandelier overhead. Magic.

Katherine English

I love that candles are a reminder of a softer time, for me I feel when I have candles in my home, I am living in a more graceful, sensual and connected way. My absolute favorite for now, is Cire Trudon’s Sanctis Sancti…I feel connected to history and holiness when I smell it.

Vicki, I love getting my daily emails from you, they are a reminder of what feeds me, and a life a love.


love the candles, have so many my husband wonders what we need them for… but obviously need to get some wonderful lanterns, they look just beautiful in the garden


Dear Vicki
Exquisite lanterns – your garden is looking sumptuous in Spring!
Oh to be back in Provence at this time of year.

Only 3 more weeks and I’ll be enjoying Sunday in France – woopdedoo!!!


Pretty Pink Tulips

What a beautiful way to illuminate the garden. I especially love the style of those black wire lanterns.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!
xo, Elizabeth


Strangely I pinned that photo to one of my boards on Pintrest without following through to the website. (Love the way the shape of the lanterns echoes the box hedging.) Then I dropped by Carla’s blog,saw the pic and followed her link through to you. Very happy to follow another beautiful blog!


Candles in the garden, whether Chinese, French, small, or chunky, add softness and warmth and a twinkle.


Hi Vicki,
Your garden looks delightful and the lanterns make me wish I could whisk myself there to enjoy the pleasures of this moment. I am always inspired by your beautiful photographs and enjoy your thoughts that accompany them.
Hope your Mother’s Day is a lovely one!


Those lanterns could transform any garden into something magical.

Keep doing it!

Maria at inredningsvis.se

MMM DIVINE POST:) I really love your blog and I follow, I hope you will follow me also:)

I have wedding theme this week at Inredningsvis…check it out:)
have a great week.

LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se

jeanette coulson

Hi Vicki,
I can see you have been very busy with this site. It is wonderful

Margaret Simpson

Yes… I love candles too. There’s something magic about them, isn’t there?

I keep all my old jam jars and have made little hanging votive candle holders of them by stringing them with fine wire. Yours have a rather ‘chinoiserie’ look about them, perfectly fitting for a french garden.

As for scented candles… I love the scent so much I keep them on my bedside table and rarely have the heart to light them. I’ve longed for a Diptych candle – their tuberose and their figue smell divine! but have never had one.

Grazie for your blog – I love it! Margherita

suan see Tan

Cheers, Vicki! Your picture says it all ” Everyday life should be a celebration!”

Tara Dillard

Have no pride about candles in the garden.

Buy all I see at any thrift store.

Varying sizes & colors but plenty to burn !!!

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara


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