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Formal Garden Ideas You’ll Love

Add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your garden by incorporating the principles of formal garden design. This garden style dates back to ancient Egypt and began to spread throughout Europe in the 16th century. Formal garden design is all about order and balance. Symmetrical plantings, clearly defined paths and trimmed plants all contribute to the formal ambience of a garden.

The easiest way to create a formal garden design is to rely on symmetrical plantings. Create a center line or axis that runs through your garden area and arrange plantings on either side of that axis that are mirror images of each other. Formal gardens usually have their main axis from the house, so relate that main path to your home in some way. Maybe it’s the view from a family room, dining area or patio.

Make the central axis a path in your garden from which other paths radiate. Place a sculpture, bench, or water feature at the other end of the axis to draw the eye toward the garden. Use this central axis of the garden as a reference point for developing all other aspects of the garden.

A formal garden design consists of geometric shapes – usually right angles, but curves also work. The secret is to create clearly defined and recognizable shapes. Typically these shapes outline planting areas, but they could also be part of the landscaping. For example, the main axis could start from a square terrace, run several feet long, stop at a square central hub, and then end in a square area on which a trellis bench sits.

Pathways in a formal garden design must be clearly defined. They can be made of grass, gravel, stone or brick. If you choose lawn, you will have to spend time manually edging the paths to maintain the formality of the garden. Or you can choose to define edges with metal edges or a layer of bricks or pavers.


Formal garden design ideas

1. Pretty delphinium garden with living arbors

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2. Display alliums and foxgloves along the garden path

3. Minimal country style garden with lush lawn and paved path

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4. Fresh lawn with a large dragon tree

5. Dreamy spring garden path with pear and purple bulbs

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6. Topiary Garden Landscape

7. Formal garden design with shrubs, ground covers and paved lawn

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8. Topiary boxwood with purple and pink flowering hedge garden

9. Formal boxwood garden with pink camellias

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10. Rose garden in the front yard with boxwood topiary in the middle

11. A purple paradise!

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12. Garden greenhouse with pastel flowers all around

13. Tiny cottage with flower garden on patio

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14. Urban Deck Garden with Hydrangea Hedge Garden

15. Greenhouse in a tropical canopy

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16. Botanical garden with hosta beds and other plants

17. Contemporary garden with a statue in the middle

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18. Formal fall garden with colorful foliage plants

19. Beautiful lush lawn with bushy shrubs

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20. A relaxing lakeside spot at Susan Field

21. Architectural garden with Annabelles and hydrangea bed

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22. Garden with couch and large privacy walls

23. Formal boxwood panels on a bed of pebbles

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24. City lawn with boxwoods and floral groundcovers

25. Gravel path between boxwood and rose hedges

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26. Beautiful knot garden with shed house for relaxation

27. White hydrangea garden with brick walkway

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28. Italian hedge garden