Each English Country Garden has its own elegant charm, whether designing an informal or a semi-formal theme. This means you may choose a natural theme with meandering walkways and flowering shrub masses, or a semi-manicured garden with a central fountain or low-growing labyrinth hedge. The architecture of your home may determine the appropriate theme, keeping in mind that most English Garden designs appear irregular in shape and do not feature straight, geometrical lines. The informal design works well with a bridge arching over a natural stream and pond with cascading waterfalls placed off the patio, or sunroom, or conservatory. Brick patios feature wicker furniture, ornate wood or cast iron benches, and antiques. There are times when the masses of flowering shrubs make this garden appear a bit full or “naturally overgrown”. Nature at her best!
English Country Garden Elements: White picket fences, arbors, quaint bridges, and gazebos with brick walkways are typical for this garden style. Pergolas and trellises with gravel paths, stone pavers, and a decorative birdbath and sundial accent the custom patio area laid with custom brick, stone, or rustic pavers. Decorative containers are an excellent choice for Dwarf Citrus Trees and Standard Roses. Don’t forget the birdhouses. A meandering path leading to a simple bench surrounded by Iceberg Roses offers an inviting garden retreat.
English Country Garden Plants: Lush, fragrant shrub masses, climbing roses on an arched trellis, a rose garden area, and groups of herbaceous plants such a Daylilies, Fortnight Lilies, Ornamental Grasses, and Iris give the garden its charm. If a bit of formality is requested, formal Boxwood hedges may line the meandering walkways. Rolling lawns are a traditional feature in English Country Gardens. Keeping water conservation in mind, a low-growing lawn substitutes are used to present an open, meadow look, allowing for a recreational turfgrass area in the backyard. A combination of evergreen and deciduous trees allow summer shade and winter sun. A raised herb garden works nicely, as do seasonal bulbs and annual color placed near garden focal points.
Informal Theme - The Natural Look
For clarification, the informal garden theme consists of free-flowing, meandering pathways leading to, or through, outdoor “rooms”, or areas of interest. Shrubs are allowed to assume their natural growth habits and must be pruned with a selective pruning technique, rather than formal pruning.