Garden in the English style – what should it be?

Idyllic landscape: creating an English-style garden

It captures the natural beauty and size, the atmosphere of freedom and romance. What is the uniqueness of the English garden? And how to recreate it?

Albina Rogova

Plant more greenery and bright flowers, pave winding paths and get a pond with a pergola … – Creating a garden in the English style seems like a simple task. But is it really so? Let’s find out.

An English garden is often preceded by a small country style gate.

History of the origin of the style

The English style in landscape design is a revolutionary reaction to the heavy-handedness and filigree of 16th- and 17th-century Versailles. In the British version it is not man who controls nature, but vice versa: nature itself tells you how it is better and more correct. You only have to listen to her.

The first informal gardens opened in central England in the early 18th century. They were characterized by poetic landscapes, flowing structure and delicate palette. The authors of the new style were the painter-architect William Kent and the royal gardener Charles Bridgeman. They were inspired by ancient Roman parks and at the same time the Classical era. But they borrowed many details from the gardens of France and Italy.

W. Kent’s garden at Chiswick Manor is an example of the English landscape style

By the end of the 18th century, the English landscape style quickly spread throughout Europe, including Russia. Catherine the Great loved the natural beauty of the landscape, the rounded shapes, picturesque ponds and colorful flower beds. As a result, elements of the English garden style included the famous parks of Gatchina, Pavlovsk and Tsarskoye Selo. And today English gardens do not lose their relevance – they have ceased to be time and fashion.

concept and principles

By its philosophy and aesthetics, an English garden is more like a wilderness than a pastoral painting. The task of the gardener is to recreate a lush, idyllic landscape worthy of classic paintings or trading postcards. With obvious simplicity, English parks are thoughtfully designed down to the smallest detail, including combinations of tones and halftones, transitions and contrasts.

Important: The English garden was the backdrop for the traditional country estates of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Landscaped gardens around an old English manor house

The atmosphere there is conducive to long, relaxed walks, pleasant conversation, reflection and contemplation of nature. An English garden gives the impression of aristocratism, something beyond the scope of a rifle scope, but without losing its nobility and sophistication. Although it loves a scope, it can be fitted with a regular six-piece. In doing so, it is important to adhere to a number of principles:

  • Plant abundance (use many different flowers, herbs, trees),
  • unity with nature (predominance of curved lines and natural outlines, decor and decoration made of natural materials),
  • openness (lawns and lawns occupy about 40% of the area),
  • flow (smooth smooth borders, one flowing into the other)
  • contrast (combination of colors, volumes, textures),
  • antique style (vintage furniture, aged decoration, antique style decor).

Important: When decorating the garden, give preference to natural materials such as wood, stone, ceramics, glass, etc.

Lawns and lawns are obligatory elements of an English garden

Planning Secrets

When planning your space, rely on the features of the landscape. Ideally, it should be hilly with small elevations. In addition to an abundance of curves and undulating shapes, some straight lines can be used to structure the garden. For example, accent a bench, statue or tree with a straight path leading to it.

Tip: Allow yourself to be inspired by exploring existing garden options for wild landscapes and pastoral pictures.

Sample garden plan for an English garden

Add “viewpoints” to the plan in advance that offer a panoramic view of the garden. Complement them with a pavilion or terrace, shoreline or sculpture. To keep the atmosphere romantic and mysterious, think of a few hidden spaces (a small corner with a bench behind a high fence, an unexpected flowerbed at the end of the garden).

Tip: Elevate important garden objects by clearing space around them, paving paths, and putting an embankment in front of them.

Corner with a bench at the back of the garden

Place seating and reflection areas away from the main paths and surround them with dense greenery. Hide vegetable beads at the edge of the garden or integrate them into the landscape with curved high borders.

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Key elements

Lots of greenery.

An English-style cottage is surrounded by lots of greenery. A sense of density and volume is achieved through dense plantings and plants with lots of foliage. On high relief is a fluffy green lawn. They are arranged in the center of the garden and organically combined with flowerbeds and hedges. Instead of borders – flower borders or small structures made of natural stones and wood.

Tip: When choosing plants, consider seasonal sophistication so that the garden looks aesthetically pleasing at any time of year.

A classic English garden is always full of greenery

Mixborders are an integral part of English gardens. They make the area look voluminous and colorful and convey a sense of plowing with the plant. Flowers can sometimes extend beyond the borders of the bed and emphasize the smooth transitions and unity of the garden elements.

Color Balance.

Colorful flowering plants against a backdrop of lush greenery indicate the tone of the garden’s palette. Originally, pastel and white tones prevailed. Today, no English garden is without reds, blues, purples and pinks, which are responsible for the delicate, romantic atmosphere. Equally attractive are vintage tones: orange, peach, light pink, light yellow, brown, and purple.

Tip: Play on contrasts by combining opposite colors (blue to orange, purple to yellow, red to turquoise).

An English garden in a delicate vintage palette

Rely not on the number of combinations, but on the color volume. It is enough to mix 3-5 colors and repeat them in lush plantings throughout the area. It is desirable to choose monochrome plants and avoid unusual varieties (rainbow roses, striped swords), too mottled.

Natural paths

Walkways in an English garden are a harmony of naturalness and unpredictability. Most often they consist of paving stones or natural flat stones with uneven edges. They are laid in a free configuration already on the finished lawn. Stick to comfortable straight lines near the house and buildings and in the garden free curved lines.

Important: Permanent and aesthetic stones for paths are quartzite, sandstone, quartzite-sandstone or shungite.

Gently curved natural stone walkway

No less expressive looks a path made of aged bricks with a characteristic texture and patina. But it is easier to scatter gravel, wood chips or stone chips in discrete shades along the paths. When creating routes, keep the “surprise effect” in mind so that it’s hard to immediately guess which element of the garden the path will lead to.

A picturesque pond.

It is difficult to imagine an English garden without one. The main condition – the pond should look as natural as possible: without sharp depths, with uneven smooth borders and chaotic thickets. However, this does not mean that it should be covered with mud and resemble a swamp. You should clean the water regularly and keep it clear.

Tip: Encircle the banks of water bodies with large stones, surround them with moisture bars and shrubs.

A pond surrounded by large stones and small pebbles

It is best to place the reservoir in the back of the garden behind a hedge wall. It can be decorated with a wooden or stone bridge, a small waterfall, stream or fountain. The style of the decorative elements of the pond should blend seamlessly into the natural landscape.

quiet zone

For perpetual admiration of the beauty of the garden, equip gazebos on a small elevation. Wooden, stone and wrought iron structures in the style of a Roman rotunda or Chinese pavilions work well with the English landscape style. Shade and privacy are provided by ampelous plants (climbing roses, hypomeria, maiden vines).

A traditional pavilion in the shade of an English garden

Choose furniture in a vintage or classic style with a touch of antiquity. Objects should not blend into the background. Instead of the usual gray and black tones for benches, choose colors that are trendy on the green: white, blue, yellow, pink, orange. Thus, get a spectacular focal point that draws attention to the landscape.

Tip: The colors and materials of garden furniture should be in harmony with the decor and structures of the garden.

A bench with a pergola – an extra place to relax in the shade

Next to the central pergola, organize several secluded corners for relaxing. Hide them behind a high live fence in the shade of trees or pergolas. It’s especially chic when the secluded spots can be found unexpectedly, taking a slight turn away from the main path.

Protecting and mulching plants before winter


Hedges of dense, lightly trimmed shrubs are the best way to mark the boundaries of an English garden. They provide privacy and do not disturb the natural landscape. Evergreen shrubs with quick, dense foliage (boxwood, dereza, macleia, yew, juniper) are suitable plants.

TIP: Use hedges of different sizes to divide space and highlight key garden design elements.

Tall hedges – walls that break up a garden

Determine the height of your hedge in relation to the size of your u200bu200bt lot: In small spaces, tall hedges make the space seem smaller. An alternative to shrubs – ampelous plants with broad leaves, fixed on conventional fences (preferably wooden or stone).

Tip: do not forget to treat them with a rotting agent.

Decor features.

They accentuate the smooth rounded lines of the garden, give a jagged appearance and become a support for ampelous roses and clematis. A whole corridor of several arches decorated with flowering vines looks romantic. They are installed closer to the center of the garden, sometimes waiting for the entrance to the pergola. The arch between the hedges is like a door to the next “garden room.”

Unusual arches made of tree branches


Several sculptural objects in different parts of the site set the rhythm of the landscape. They are located both in central areas, near benches and gazebos, and in the most unexpected places: under a tree, behind a hedge, inside a grotto, in the thicket of a pond. Antique-style statuettes and vases and wrought iron or stone bird belts are sure ways to bring the spirit of antiquity and aristocracy into the garden.

Sculpture surrounded by living borders and flower beds


Like an arch, it also serves as a support for flowering vines. But forget about complicated large constructions with bulky crossbars. In an English garden, compact wooden pergolas combined with trellises are popular. They are often used instead of the arches which precede the entrance to the main grass. A good idea is to put them next to benches at the back of the garden.

Pergola corridor connected to each other

It’s easy to ruin an English garden with modern lighting fixtures. The best options are classic English lanterns, lamps with a plafond in the form of a bell or ball. The main thing is that they fit into the overall style and give soft, diffused lighting. Along the paths, near the benches and gazebo place light fixtures. Around the pond, floor lamps can be used, concentrating light on the surface of the water.

A traditional English garden light

Suitable plants


The English garden is characterized by extensive and coniferous trees with elegant crowns of different colors. They create a natural landscape with shaded areas. Oak, maple, birch, beech, gravelly, apple, cherry, and nightshade would be good choices. Add a few specimens with low needles for contrast and visual interest: spruce, pine, larch.

Trees with lots of foliage

Liana .

Not only are they responsible for the shade in the pavilion, but they also help soften the borders of masking artificial garden elements and emphasize the poetic atmosphere of solitude and romance. Clematis, wisteria, climbing roses, maiden vines, ivy, and medical jasmine get along well among the climbing plants in English gardens.

Magnificent climbing roses on a pergola.


In addition to creating hedges and borders, they are often used to frame a patio and garden structure. Although topiaries are not the mainstay of an English garden, they can still be used for contrast. Don’t keep track of the number of varieties – let them be the best shrubs and those that tolerate the local climate well (lilac, jasmine, hawthorn, viburnum, barberry).

Tip: If there is no time to do without a flower bed, plant a few bushes with unpretentious and magnificent hydrangeas instead of flowers.

Mixed border with tiered shrubs


The aristocratic luxury of an English garden is given by exquisite plants. The absolute favorites are roses, peony, hydrangeas, dahlias, lilies. The most romantic look mixtures of terry varieties with delicate pink and white flowers. It is desirable to choose 3-4 main flowers, and the other plants in the bed to adjust to their shade and shape.

Important: Portable flowerbeds in containers and ceramic vases are relevant for the English garden – place them near the house, in the gazebo and at the intersection of paths.

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A rose garden in the center of an English garden

Flowers are planted close to each other “staircase” – from high species in the background to low ones. To give a visual lightness and lushness, dilute them with decorative grasses of different texture, volume and size. You will perfectly compare yourself to a mowed lawn and large buds.

How to create an English garden – the basic rules of the style

How to create an English garden - the basic rules of the style

Everyone who reads the proposed material to the end will be able to understand what a classic English garden is, what features this style of design has and on what basis its manual implementation should be built. The article describes in detail the ten basic elements of directing, published photos and videos of finished works, thanks to which you will be able to be inspired.

The general basis

The image of the traditional English garden is still a model of landscape art for many. The described direction was formed to create an alternative to the regular French park. Already in the late 18th century, many were bored with the geometrically regular layout, having a pronounced symmetry with straight streets, axes, ground floor and ponds. At the time, one could not be distracted from the theme of classicism; its perfect pictures were fashionable. But society was tired of the effect of absolute human control over nature, so the idea arose to create a park that would look like a natural extension of the surrounding landscape, which was created from the outside.

The creators of such creations were looking for a balance between interfering with nature and their unbridled temperament. Therefore, the new trend was based on the principle of the element of unpredictability. If you walked through such a park, you did not know what to expect behind the turn of the alley. To achieve such an effort, various image elements (small bridges, pavilions, fountains, flower pots, pyramids, decorative structures stylized as ruins) were used.

Gardens in the described style are characterized by an amazing level of proportions, they look stylish and picturesque. Their aesthetics are very functional. The principles of its construction are considered immutable. They can be used by anyone who wants to create a small green corner in the style of old England in his country house. To do this, it is necessary to adhere to the following rules.

Structural basis

An English garden in landscape design is an object with a clearly planned structure. At its core are pedestrian zones, the routes of which allow you to observe the change of decorative objects. Your set is strictly limited. Commonly accepted are:

  • Large green lawn;
  • Front yard;
  • An outdoor light pavilion-like pergola;
  • A garden of fruit or ornamental trees;
  • A picture pond.

All of these areas are separated from each other by stone walls resembling ancient ruins or immaculately trimmed green fences. In order to arrange the listed objects, it is necessary to observe strictly defined frameworks.

The space between the decorative inserts is connected by walking paths. They are formed with the help of paved paths or soft gravel paths. Along them, flowerbeds can be arranged, discounts can be made. You can complicate the task and put you in the Labyrinth of green boxwood. The hallmark of landscape design in the style of an English park are one – or two-sided mixboard.

Elements of the style

Although the natural beauty of nature is in the foreground, the described garden can only be described to a limited extent. In its embodiment one always feels the experienced hand of a gardener with a capital letter. Therefore, in the overall picture there are trimmed fences, well-mowed lawns. Free landscaped areas fill the empty spaces that remain after the definition of the main accents (running paths, architectural elements, green mazes).

A garden in England does not imitate unspoiled nature, but a rural image in which a fairy-tale atmosphere prevails. Branchy thickets and overgrown shrubs are not for the described object. It has room only for perfectly trimmed corners. All accents used should emphasize aristocratic luxury and look like a colorful postcard that was prepared for an art exhibition.

Classic in classic is landscaping in the English way. If shrubs are needed, bookend trees should act as shrubs. If trees are to be planted, it is better to use ahorns, catalpas or wild apple trees. As companions choose catnip, geichera and knight’s spurge. The bottom row is most often decorated with lavender and prize of honor. Bulbous plants (tulips, muskrats and daffodils) look good in such splendor. This combination has not gone out of fashion for centuries in a row. Overall, they don’t look boring.

How to choose good seedlings?

Each highlighted plant has its own radiant personality. If you manage to choose them with regard to shape, size and color, you can exactly reproduce the style of an English aristocrat.

Greens on a plane

The color of lush greenery always dominates gardens in England. A succulent lawn is indispensable. It unites the overall composition, serves as the main background, fills in the resulting bare spots and compensates for the flower beds. Without using such a technique it is impossible to achieve natural harmony and create splendid charm.

If you want to organize something like this on your personal plot, it is imperative to create a strict lawn, lay a green border around the water, garter or form borders and form walking paths. The lawn should be a backdrop against which to admire all that a landscape nursery creates.

A scientific approach to plant selection

Although the English style in landscape design involves creating zones of equal importance, the basis for the success of the overall idea is that the selection of plants should be approached rigorously. The owner must know everything about each of them: the nuances of planting, care, reproduction.

Saving time in this matter is impossible. Therefore, it is advisable to make a separate journal and create catalogs, which will describe the stages of work for each particular method, make plans for watering and fertilizing, tillage, weeding and relocation. The garden should shine on itself and be cared for like a little child. It is important to do this carefully and with a scientific approach, constantly studying the experience of other gardeners and communicating with them on forums. With this approach, you can easily fix existing ensembles.

Color Balance.

Color harmony is another basic principle. Achieving this and keeping the garden looking the way you want it to look every season is a task for professionals. It’s not difficult if you know how to create a color scheme. Here you have to behave like an experienced artist: take a basic framework and use different colors skilfully on that basis.

The described garden is not characterized by faded colors, contrasts or dull halftones. Aristocratic are those landscapes in which a calm green palette prevails, for each colorful and juicy element there is a counterbalance, and each light color is bordered by a dark rich deep tone. When putting together a gamut, you should use a combination of hues that are next to each other. For example, it is good to mix purple with lilac, yellow with orange, and blue with light blue.

Video description

The video shows how the designer intelligently arranged bright colors in the English garden:

When choosing plants for a flower bed, you should give preference to traditional pure colors. If you want pink, let it be candy shade, if purple, let it be perfect purple. With the word, you have to use the old combination combinations. Then you can recognize the frequency of the plan, which is so characteristic of England.

The effect of seasonality.

You can admire a homestead all year long if you choose plants with your flower seasonality in mind. For spring, summer and fall, crops that can define the overall look of a blooming garden and make up a unified ensemble are appropriate.

Each season has its own “stars.” Spring has tulips. In summer – roses. It is necessary to ensure that one group blooms and the other blooms. Thus, a sense of consistency is formed, respect for nature itself is emphasized, its beauty and its possible metamorphosis are revealed.

Garden aristocrats

There are plants that in floristics are associated with a kind of landscape design. The rose is identified with the garden in the direction described. It also fits into the overall concept, emphasizing its aristocratism. Of course, it is not necessary to use English roses when creating the overall picture. They are perfectly acclimated in our cold climate. You can plant all adapted bush roses, which boast endurance and strong fragrance. Modern species of rosehips work well in gardens. It is easy to create a hedge with it. However, the waterfall effect in a fairy tale is better to form with groundcover roses.

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Arches and pergolas painted with female varieties look great in the garden. They help to create a luxurious background for benches. Shrub plants become easy prey for the main soloists in flower beds and in rabatkas. For the above purposes, experts recommend choosing tea hybrids and floribundas.

A conscientious approach to the choice of height

All flowering plantings should look perfect, so all functional areas should be filled with dozens of plants under the line. Lush density is created by taking into account their size, taking into account their height. It is important to achieve such an effect so that the person looking at the flower claim does not see at its base an empty fence, and the flower bed itself has the right shape. A strict flat height, starting from the foreground, ending with a backdrop from the middle to the periphery – the main principle of the formation of the garden. There should be no empty propellers in the Mixboard. Your presence is considered bad form.

The common interior room is built: from low to higher. Sometimes this rule is broken. The designer plants plants especially in front of large giants when you want to create the effect of a living sculpture. So in the middle of a green lawn may appear Little Rosalia, a pyramid of Yew, or a faceted boxed ball.

Garden museum.

With a skilled selection of accessories, the finishing touches can be put in place. You can use only those ornaments that claim to be a work of art and convey the mood created.

Do not do without the classic sculpture. You can put a statue or a small fountain right in the flower bed. Stone warmers for birds look good at the junction between the beds. Artfully hidden bank, figures of animals, properly created lighting – everything should work to create a single picture.

All buildings should be made of brick, paths consist of cobblestone or limestone. A hedge of willow twigs can be used for decoration. It is necessary to use the same materials when decorating the facade of the house and other elements of the garden. This gives the whole composition the effect of integrity.

The English are characterized by thriftiness. They save old things and use them for other purposes. An old rusty car can appear in the garden with densely planted petunias.

Video description

The video shows how an English garden museum was created in London, featuring a purely English landscape design:

Water Sources.

In English parks you can find small fountains, small fountains, manicured ponds. All of them have high decorative functions and can be used for irrigation systems.

The solution of such elements requires a serious material investment. The size of ponds should be impressive, the banks should be high, plants are planted in large large groups.

Careful care

The garden in the spirit of good old England should be surrounded by a lot of love. This style is best for those who like to play with plants: trimmed roses, trimmed green lawns. Everything needs careful care, you need to put your soul into everything. Therefore such creativity is not suitable for lazy people. Even a bush, a withered bud, a dry shoot – all this splendor will immediately destroy their hands. And weeds are out of the question. Careful care – another principle of creating an English design.

Video description

Watch the following video of an English garden by a famous landscape designer from England:

Topic Summary.

An English style garden is an artistic creation. This direction is very popular. In order to make its splendor pleasing to the eye all four seasons, it requires special careful care and a scientific approach to the formation of plant groups. In such an object, everything is lined up in the right geometry, but it is visible only from a great height. Inside, everything is mysterious and laconic. Around every turn there is a new surprise in the form of an old sculpture by the waterfall or a basket hidden in a well-made flowerbed. All these objects are connected with each other by paved paths.

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