How to Design an English Garden

An English garden is a kind of garden that was developed as a sort of protest against the strict lines and artificiality prevalent in gardens in the early 18th century. Thus, an English garden is designed to look natural [source: Britannica]. While this sounds simple, looking natural can require careful planning if it is also to look attractive. Read here to get some tips on how to design your English garden.

  • Choose three or four main colors of flowers that you will planting in your garden. Use variations of the shades of those main colors.
  • Create a contrast with flowers of quite a different color.
  • Include traditional English flowers, such as roses, foxgloves and delphiniums.
  • Avoid symmetry in your design in order to achieve a look that's as natural as possible. Thus, the borders that you design should not follow straight lines. Rather they should be irregularly curved and should vary in depth. This will create a more interesting garden.
  • Use interesting colored pots for your potted plants. Although the post should all be the same color, they need not be a dull brown. You might consider matching the color of the pots to the color of the flowers in them [source: Perry].
  • Include some features apart from plants. A trellis, an arbor or a bench will add variety and interest to the scene [source: Perry]. If you add a trellis to your garden, consider planting one or more climbers, i.e. plants that will cover the trellis, such as roses or clematis [source: Mahany].
  • Allow your garden to look a bit overgrown [source: Mahany]