Styling a garden is a matter of taste. This is one’s opportunity to give free rein to his or her imagination and creativity through gardening. There is nothing easier to do provided one has a clear vision of the desired outcome. To inspire the undecided, here’s a small selection of the most popular garden styles: classic, contemporary or themed gardens. They will certainly create a unique design for every square inch of your green space.

Gardening allows one to relax by working the land and taking care of plants. But gardening should not be done carelessly. The garden is a living space and, like the inside of the house, it must be well structured for the owner to find his feet and preferences. Every decision, from the plant selection to the choice of accessories, has an impact on the beauty of the place. There is no need to systematically call a landscape gardener to give style to your garden. All that is needed to achieve a unique and original garden is the mastery of a few basic principles as well as a touch of taste and creativity.

The different garden styles

The most common garden styles can be grouped into three distinct categories: formal gardens, contemporary gardens and themed gardens. The first types of gardens are designed according to inalterable precepts worthy of mathematics. The formal garden and its geometric figures is surely one for perfectionists who do not tolerate any outburst of spontaneity. Any path is carefully plotted and the curves are precise and accurate.

On the other hand, contemporary gardens do not abide by any particular standard but are created mainly by feel. This is especially true of the country garden that brings a little piece of countryside to the city’s greyness. To do this, set up colourful flowers with a large lawn, placing emphasis on natural materials, such as wood or stone, for building the walkways.  The urban garden is another style, namely a compromise between concrete, steel and greenery. It is a small backyard garden arranged with decorative objects in a green setting.

As to the third garden type, it is somewhat equivalent to the “total look” concept in fashion. The garden is designed around a single central theme manager which can be a colour, country or culture. The Japanese garden is certainly the best example. Intended to reproduce nature as faithfully as possible, the Japanese garden combines water, stones and greenery in a harmonious whole that exudes tranquillity. These examples aside, gardening enthusiasts can also fall for a water garden with a fish pond and aquatic plants. Gardens with very flowery clumps also leave plenty of room for creativity. Similarly, the bird garden with its fruiting shrubs, flower beds, conifers and, of course, trees that can be used as camouflage by birds, will delight nature lovers.

The importance of accessories for giving a garden style

While the layout of plants and their different varieties are the foundations for a stylish garden, do not overlook the importance of accessories that accompany them because they are the ones that give meaning to the created garden. For example, in the absence of a pool or pond, a Japanese garden must include a fountain because water is an essential element in the Asian culture. To design a country garden, landscapers recommend scattering wheelbarrows, haystacks, wooden wheels, iron buckets, small carts, etc.. throughout the garden. These accessories are reminiscent of the countryside and farm life.

For a plain and modern composition, wrought iron garden furniture combined with rattan will do the job. The garden is also a matter of fabrics, and sober grey and beige tones are the norm. Retro kitsch garden lovers will, for their part, invest in some timeless garden gnomes. To complete the range of accessories that adorn the garden, do not hesitate to install an automated watering system or built-in lights. In short, something that gives the garden a real added value and sets it apart from all others.

But if you prefer simplicity, go for an urban garden, with tables and stools. For the choice of colours, one will then need to focus on white, red, blue or yellow, while accessorizing the whole with items that have striped patterns. Basically, limit the surplus of accessories and plants, but focus primarily on creating a friendly and practical atmosphere, without any flashy objects, for your garden to be unique.

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Published in Decorating guide by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011