Choosing the Garden Style


There are many variations of styles available when choosing a design for your garden, but personal taste may be the main deciding factor. Most people will have a good idea of the style of garden they want; for some, an area for entertaining is essential, others may need a secluded place to relax, whilst others still may rank a kitchen garden at the top of their priorities. Some people prefer plenty of open space, whilst others would rather a more divided and secret garden.

Of course, you are not limited to just one style of garden - it's quite possible to combine elements of two or three different types or even to create something entirely new and different.

Cottage Garden

This type of garden often has an informal layout and contains many interesting and unusual plants; it may also include some wild or conservation areas and a water feature. It will often require a great deal of maintenance and a high degree of horticultural expertise. More ...

Family Garden

This garden style is often fairly formal in design, and provides a safe space where children may play. It also usually includes areas for flower borders, fruit and vegetables, and a patio or terrace. More ...

Formal, Outdoor Living Room

Containing constructions as a patio, steps, low walls and perhaps a raised pool, this style of garden may have many plants in containers but little other planting and probably no lawn. As such, it requires a low level of maintenance. This formal style is particularly suitable for small urban gardens.

Open-Plan Garden

Possibly sited on ground sloping away from the house, this type of garden is generally low-maintenance, with good views of the surrounding landscape. It may be terraced and have space for growing some fruit and vegetables.

Screened, Secluded Sanctuary

Where the garden is overlooked or has ugly views, or where privacy is a priority, this type of enclosed design usually features an arbour or pergola and a good range of climbing plants.

See our dedicated section on Garden Styles for more detailed information on the entire range.

There are a few basic design principles that should be observed whatever the style. Harmony and balance are essential: try to include features that complement each other and the overall setting to produce a cohesive design.