3 Basic Styles Of Gardening

Gardening Basics
// February 27, 2018
Formal, Informal & Wild Garden Styles

Every garden lover has to invent their styles of gardening commensurate with their budget, taste and nature of the site. You can develop your garden design only when you study all the great garden styles carefully and grasp the underlying principles in them.

Following are three basic forms of gardening:

1. Formal gardens:

  • A formal garden is laid out in a symmetrical or geometrical pattern. In this garden, the design is stiff as everything is done in a straight and narrow way. In such gardens, everything is planned in straight lines.
  • Square and rectangular geometric forms are repeated in the various hardscaping features of formal gardens.
  • In the plan of formal garden design, the symmetrical balance is achieved when the same objects (mirror images) are placed on either side of an axis.
  • For example: If there is plant on the left hand side of a straight road, a similar plant must be planted opposite place on the right-hand side.
  • Arrange flower beds, borders and shrubbery in geometrically designed beds.
  • Trimmed formal hedges, edges, cypress, Ashoka trees and topiary are typical features of a formal garden.
  • Usually, formal gardens are designed for public parks, university/ library gardens, or essential government buildings.

Read more about the Importance of Lines in Landscape Gardening.

formal garden

garden ideas

2. Informal gardens:

  • Informal gardens are characterized by following curves, non-symmetrical arrangements of features and spaces and plants that are allowed to grow into their natural shapes.
  • In the informal garden, the underlying framework is almost entirely disguised by planting, and the garden should look as though it has grown up naturally.
  • Informal gardens are harder to design than formal ones, as they are ruled by irregularity and natural looking planting.
  • A site that is not geometric shape can be a sound basis for an informal garden.
  • Some hardscaping structure needs to exist, or everything will relapse into an untrammelled wilderness.
  • Diagonal or curved path work well, and boundaries between the various areas of your garden are often formed using native mixed hedging.
  • In general, planting in informal gardens includes tall shrubs and taller trees to add to the vertical dimension, and these will often hide the edges of the plot to create a feeling.
  • The garden should revel in colour and should look as natural as possible. If you would like to introduce water, natural-looking ponds, pools are ideal features.

Read more about Informal Garden Types.

informal garden

Garden design ideas

3. Wild gardens:

  • A comparatively recent style of gardening, the wild garden was expounded by William Robinson in the last decade of the nineteenth century. The concept of a wild garden is not only against all formalism, but it also breaks rules of landscape styles.
  • The main idea of wild gardens is to naturalize plants in shrubberies.
  • The grass should remain unmoved as in nature, and a few bulbous plants should be grown scattered in the grass to imitate a wild scenery.
  • The garden passages should be opened in the woodland and trees, shrubs and bulbous plants should be planted among the forest flora to fulfil his idea of a wild garden.
  • Allow the creepers to grow on the trees, naturally imitating those of the forest.
  • Some modern versions of the wild garden are butterfly gardening, bird garden, biodiversity parks, bio-aesthetic planning and Nakshatra Udyan (The astral garden).

Plants in Wild Garden

Stone path in a wild garden

Whether it is a formal, informal or wild-type, the garden should have colour, texture, harmony and balance.

Happy Gardening!

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Gardening Basics