Typically, when clients describe their desire for a lush English gardens design, they are referring to one of two very different styles: the English country garden or the English cottage garden. One is very structured and geometric in design; the other more vivacious and exuberant.
The English Country Garden
The classic English country garden features a series of garden areas connected by paths. These gardens are all about order: tightly pruned hedges, defined beds. The design relies heavily upon geometry. Viewed from above, walkways are centered, and circles and rectangular shapes combine to give the landscape a sense of order. Each garden area showcases beautifully maintained gardens or natural-looking landscapes. Classically these gardens were designed for lavish country estates and to be experienced on foot.
The English Cottage Garden
English cottage gardens on the other hand feature over-the-top personality, with beds that brim with riotous color. Classic perennials like roses, delphiniums, foxglove, lambs ear, lavender, and hollyhock are at home and dazzle in a cottage garden. Order, or a sense of it, is attained with picket fences, stone paths and trellises planted with clematis or climbing roses. In English cottage gardens, informality reigns, and plantings rub up against each other to show off. They tumble over borders. As in any well-designed space, a mix of plants that flower at different times create a continuous flow of color throughout the seasons. Annuals add robust color throughout the summer months.
English gardens, both styles, use structures for focal points. The key is to limit the number to create drama not diversion. Seating, like a stone bench in a classic design, is both functional and adds interest.
What Suits You Best?
English gardens offer a transitional landscape design option for gardeners who are torn between the formal geometry of a symmetrical garden and the lush, irrepressible exuberance of a landscape gone wild. In an English garden you can have all of the above, at the ratio that is most pleasing to your eye.
Tell us what kind of landscape is in your dreams. We will make it happen. Call today.