A parterre is a formal garden constructed on a level surface, consisting of planting beds, typically in symmetrical patterns, separated and connected by gravel pathways. Beds may be edged in stone or tightly clipped hedging and may not contain flowers.
French parterres originated in 15th-century gardens of the French Renaissance often taking the form of knot gardens. Later, during the 17th century Baroque era, they became more elaborate and more stylised. The French parterre reached its highest development at Versailles; this inspired many other similar parterres throughout Europe.