Answer: This is a fairly complex question. At different times designs used turf, clipped hedges, bedding annuals, and even gravel. If you take a look at a book or two on garden history you will see the different forms; there is also somewhat of a distinction between the French and English versions. You might want to work with your reference librarian to research the development of the parterre as it traces its way through several centuries. I hope this helps you get started.
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