The Plant Professionals
16886 Turner Street
Lansing, MI 48906
Fax: (517) 327-0299
8 a.m.- 5 p.m. M-F
Also by Appointment
The Formal Garden
The formal garden, a garden with a clear structure, geometric shapes, and in most cases, a symmetrical layout, are clean and classic landscapes that never go out of style.
When designing a formal garden, start with a focal point, then plan pathways. Large ornaments are essential for use as focal points to frame your garden. Statues, urns, water features, archways, or a feature plant can make a large visual impact. If using urns, buy an even number and distribute them around the garden in a pattern, each containing the same kind of plant.
A typical feature of the formal garden is the symmetrical arrangement of pathways and beds. Pathways can be maze-like, have two bisecting paths that make a cross shape, dividing the garden into four equal parts, or circular with a path running straight through the middle. The pathways of formal gardens are usually covered with brick or paving stone, but gravel can also be used.
Classic plant varieties such as boxwood, yews, junipers, or hollies are widely used in these classic gardens. Most formal gardens use plants with lush green foliage, with white being the flower color of choice. When picking plants, create patterns by alternating plant shapes and colors. Beds are arranged to form intertwined patterns and complex geometrical arrangements of plants. Hedges can be formed into mazes that include archways, hidden resting places, and cul-de-sacs. Formal gardens need more maintenance than other garden types, hedges need to be trimmed often to keep a certain shape. Pick plants that are containable and don’t flop over pathways. Consider lining pathways with only one type of plant to provide cohesion. Plant open spaces with grass for a pleasing contrast to the heavily planted areas.
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