The English Country Garden

English Country Garden

English Country Garden

The English Country Garden is a style of English gardens (English Lanscape gardens, or Anglo-Japanese English Garden) that gained popularity in England during the 18th century. This style of gardening replaced the more formal gardens that were popular during the 17th century, substituting symmetrical design with a more idealized, softer view of nature. The English Country Garden design takes its inspiration from painters by famous landscape artists such sa Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorraine.
During the 18th century, English people were becoming more well-traveled, and tales of the amazing classical gardens of China spread among the more affluent people of England. This inspired the recreations of temples and lakes which are seen in many gardens.

Exploring English Country Gardens

English Country Gardens were the inspiration for the later 18th century gardens that became popular in France and Russia. These gardens feature lakes, large, sprawling lawns, and idyllic pastoral features. Examples of classical English gardens include Chiswick House, in Kent, which was designed by the 3rd Earl Of Burlington, Richard Boyle, and Stowe House in Buckinghamshire, which is an incredibly informal country garden. When Stowe house was designed, the garden was a radical departure from the fashions of the time.

Designing an English Country Garden

You don’t need a lot of space to create an English Country Garden, although you may have to compromise on lawns and pathways if you’re working in a smaller garden. The lawn acts as a backdrop for the borders of the garden, but the borders are what truly catch the visitor’s eye.
Ireland flower is Shamrock. Popular flowers for English gardens include Chyrsanthemums, Primrose, Aquilegia, Daisies, Lavender and Rudbeckia. Roses, despite being thought of as English, are more common in cottage-style gardens than Country Gardens. For a traditional look, choose Begonias or Petunias instead of roses. In additions, plant boxwood or hydrangea shrubs. You have a lot of flexibility when it comes to trees, but in general it is best to work with what you have.

French Landscape Garden

French Landscape Garden

French Landscape Garden

The French formal garden was popular in France for over a century, but as England developed a more casual landscape garden, the French quickly adapted their own landscape styles to more closely mimic and idealized nature rather than a forced containment of the natural elements. The closely edged and cropped symmetry of the French formal garden fell out of favor and the winding paths and lush greenery of the French landscape garden became immensely popular in the late 18th century.

Inside the French Landscape Garden

Romantic painting and idealized landscapes became the basis for the French landscape garden. Paintings by Hubert Robert and Claude Lorrain are credited with the inspiration for the French landscape garden. Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau was important part in the development of the French landscape theories as well.

Rousseau’s philosophy that the “nobility of nature” should not only be respected but revered was the foundation for the newer style of French landscape gardens. Inside the ideal landscape garden, Rousseau described a place where people could be true to themselves and plants would be “set free” from the bounds of the formal styles.

Building a French Landscape Garden

The gardens that were inspired by painting and Rousseau’s description took form like careful depictions of art. The gardens carefully included lakes, ponds and winding streams. Pathways wound through the different elements of the garden and all elements were perfectly in tune with each other.

The French landscape gardens also included several features of architecture and style to add interest and eye-catching appeal to the landscapes. Elements inside the garden were inspired by virtually every other culture. Inside the French landscape you might find rustic cottages, models of Egyptian pyramids, Greek or Roman ruins and temples as well as Asian influences such as pagodas.

Filled Under: French Gardens

French Formal Garden

French Formal Garden

French Formal Garden

The French formal garden, the most popular style of the 16th and 17th centuries, was designed to impose order and structure to nature. These gardens were well known for their highly manicured styles or symmetry and design. The Gardens of Versailles is the best known example of the French formal garden and the style was copied extensively during those centuries and still today.

The Beginnings of the French Formal Garden

The concepts of planting flowers and shrubs in a symmetrical, shaped pattern originated first in Italy and moved into France at the beginning of the 16th century. The French put their spin on the style, of course, and the full French formal garden was born.

In the French style of formal gardens, the flowers are carefully arranged by style and color so that they are truly idealized and contained. The pathways are laid out in a symmetrical pattern with geometric shapes included in the design. The planting beds or parterres are contained within the pathways and are usually viewed from all sides as they are closely contained by the walkways.

In fact, the full garden was usually contained by walls designed to make the land holding easy to defend. The Gardens in the Italian style where beautiful, but not as harmonious and fluid as the full French formal garden would become over time.

The Jardin à la Française

A true formal French garden, or Jardin à la Française, does not focus solely on the plantings and pathways. Instead, the French formal garden is designed to be integrated with the style and form of the house as well. A true integration of style is required to make the garden flow harmoniously with the chateau, or home, as well as the surrounding areas.

The French formal garden grew to include symmetrical pathways and plantings as well as carefully placed and designed statues, evergreens, fountains, basins and topiaries as well.

Filled Under: French Gardens

Anglo-Japanese English Garden

Anglo-Japanese English Garden

Anglo-Japanese English Garden

Popular just before the Victorian era took held in English, the Anglo-Japanese garden is a style that was popular for the second half of the nineteenth century. It was the increasing interest in the styles and forms of the Japanese and other Asian gardens that drove the newer styles in England not just in gardens, but in architecture as well.

The Origins of the Anglo-Japanese English Garden

The Anglo-Japanese and Anglo-Chinese gardens did away with the formal rows that were so common in an English garden and instead created an irregular planting method that was striking and pleasing to the eye. The purpose of the Anglo-Japanese garden was to blend the English plants and styles with the more cultural elements of Asia.

Inside an Anglo-Japanese English Garden, the plants may contain some of those that would be more naturally suited for Asia, but it is the style of planting and arranging the plants that makes the bigger difference in the Anglo-Japanese style of garden rather than the plants themselves. In the garden, the plants are arranged to appeal to the senses in the way that nature would – the plants are arranged naturally.

Japanese Architecture in Anglo Japanese Gardens

As the period moved forward, the English gardens began to include other elements of the Japanese culture. Japanese architecture was introduced to the English gardens. These features included large elements such as ebonized furniture and Japanese-style architecture details including pavilions and even water features.

Smaller elements of Japanese style became commonplace in the Anglo Japanese gardens including unglazed terracotta pottery and Japanese art on other planting containers. The English gardens were traditionally large around major homes and were designed for strolling. While later models of the Anglo-Japanese garden included more “eye-catching” features than the original versions, the style of casual planting to mimic nature has survived in many gardens still today.

English Landscape Garden

English Landscape Garden

English Landscape Garden

A landscape garden can be found in virtually every country in the world, and most of the modern landscape gardens have their roots in the English landscape garden. While the actual term “landscape garden” wasn’t used often by those living in the last eighteenth century when this style of garden truly flourished, the term is used today to mean a manicured garden complete with eye-catching features, structured planting and pathways.

The English Garden

An English garden, or more formally an English park, is the basis of the modern landscape garden today. The English garden took a more relaxed approach to the formal, symmetrical gardens that have traveled to England from France in the 17th century.

The English garden developed into a more idealized view of nature including a lake or pond, groves of trees, rolling green hills and interesting features that stemmed from cultural elements – Gothic ruins, Asian influences and bridges were especially popular.

Where the English has originally copied the formal, boxy style of garden from the French, by the end of the 18th century, the French were designing their gardens in the English style.

Building an English Landscape Garden

A popular style still today for parks and homes, the English landscape garden is often imitated throughout the world. In order to create the landscape garden, you must start with a variety of natural elements to depict the perfect setting these gardens seek to create.

A small water feature designed to look like a pristine lake or pond is a good start. The paths through the gardens should be winding with lush green grasses spreading out. At least one section of the path should lead through the trees.

In the more modern versions of the English landscape garden, there are more features present than in the original versions. These features include bridges, ponds, architectural details and statues to draw the eye and make the individuals walking through the garden stop to take notice.

Dutch Gardens

Dutch (Holland) Gardens

Dutch Gardens Holland

A garden design originating from one of the most densely populated countries in the world, the Dutch garden is known for its close design and efficient use of space. In the Netherlands, where the style of garden originated, the plots available for planting are especially small so the use of planting space and light are critical to creating a pleasing design.

The Dutch Garden Worldwide

The term associated with the tiny, organized gardens in the Netherlands has spread considerably across the globe. Today, the term “Dutch garden” doesn’t just mean a garden in the corresponding nation. It can also mean any small, square garden that is enclosed usually by a low wall or hedge. The term can also be applied to a garden planted heavily with tulips.

dutch holland gardens

Dutch (Holland) Garden

Inside the Dutch Garden

When you visit a Dutch garden, you’ll expect to see a highly geometric constructed space. The garden makes use of hedges, symmetry and dense plants to create an ultra organized space that is appealing and refined. The best known example of a Dutch garden is not in the Netherlands at all, but rather in the gardens of Kensington Palace of the UK.

Inside that garden, you’ll find almost perfect symmetry between plants and shrubs as well as carefully placed flowers that fall into lines and boxes. Pathways cross between the various plantings to create the sharp patterns that make these Dutch gardens unique.

The Dutch gardens back home in the Netherlands are a bit less rigid in their structure than the ones found in the UK and in other countries, but there is still the same principle of tightness and control. The garden plots are small and carefully laid out to maximize space and beauty. The homes are tightly pressed together in the cities making traditional gardening a challenge for many. With a Dutch garden, however, the savvy planters are able to turn that tiny urban space into a truly amazing natural wonder.

Filled Under: Dutch Gardens

Chinese Gardens

A tradition dating back more than three thousand years, the Chinese garden, or a Chinese classical garden is a study in natural landscapes. Usually walled with water features and any number of trees and plants, a Chinese garden is well maintained and carefully created to mimic and unrolling of nature as you move through the gardens.

Chinese Gardens

Chinese Garden

The Beauty of Chinese Gardens

The first Chinese gardens were recorded as being created during the Shang Dynasty as early as 1600 B.C. The gardens were used for hunting or growing food and were often very large parks that were enclosed completely with walls. The tradition of the enclosed garden continued throughout the centuries and still today a traditional Chinese garden is found inside walls.

The walls around the garden aren’t the only the items of note, however. Inside the garden you’ll find not only plants, but distinctive water features and architecture as well. Among the most prominent forms of architecture you’ll see pavilions, ceremony buildings, courtyards, gates and windows all designed to help garden owners and visitors better appreciate the elements of nature contained within the garden. For example, the Lotus Pavilion is traditionally built next to a lotus pond in order to see the flowers and appreciate their fragrance.

Rocks and Water in a Chinese Garden

Plants are critical to a Chinese garden, and these natural elements work in tandem with other natural aspects as well. A large pond or a lake is a critical element inside the Chinese garden. All buildings and pavilions are built around the lake. Rock formations – both real and false – are used to create winding paths through the garden. The rock is arranged to be as natural as possible in appearance and location. Entire rock gardens may be created as well as a feature of the Chinese Garden.

With all of its many elements, the Chinese garden was created not only to be pleasant to see, but also as a way to house celebrations, relax and become closer to nature.

Filled Under: Chinese Gardens