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Formal Garden Design Guide

16:36 Mon 24th May 2010 |

For those with enough space and time you may have considered changing your garden design into something more refined. A formally designed garden can be visually pleasing, easy to maintain and allows managing a garden efficiently. For those who are keen on gardening this is the perfect way to show off your expertise.

Principals of Formal Garden Design

Symmetry is the first thing to consider when you are basing your garden on formal design. Having both side of a garden mirroring one another in perfect symmetry is a striking way to show your garden design flair.

Another sign of a formally designed garden is that of cleanly clipped hedges which work with the garden to provide the mirroring effect. This is also to accentuate the right-angles geometry which is used to design the garden.

Wrought-iron, wood and stone are the only materials which can be used in a formally designed garden – plastics are not allowed!

Other Formal Features

The garden is then planned like you would plan the rooms of a house – remember scale and proportion are very important. Each garden area should have a kind of purpose behind it. On top of this the garden must have a balance to it – a central path through the middle is one way of creating balance and symmetry.

Play with perspective. If you have the space and the time make your garden play tricks with those in who enter it. Consider the view from where you enter it – if you would like the garden to appear longer then plant bright blooms near the front, and darker (blues, greys and so on) colours further towards the back of the garden. Physically laying out the beds and path so they appear to be converging in the distance is another way to create tricks with perspective – if they literally come closer together they will appear as if the garden is longer than is actually is. You may use hedges in a similar way.

By using clever “tricks,” like these you will be giving guests the visual treat of working out how it works – this is an excellent talking point for parties.

Final Notes on Formal Gardens

If you have a gravel path, remember to have the edges bricked – this way the stone or gravel doesn’t end up scattered on your pristine lawn. Also – having deep gravel will stop your path getting muddy in wet weather.

Using plants which have harmonizing colours will allow natural patterns to form from the chaos – adding interest to the sometimes seemingly restricted style of formal gardening.

While this list is in no way exhaustive you should have some ideas about what you want in your formal garden.

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