English gardens came into popularity during Victorian times in England and elsewhere. However, its style seems to remain an iconic ideal of what a truly lush green landscape can aspire to. It has evolved through the years into a unique garden style that evokes the feeling of grandeur. English gardens appear often to be both overgrown and yet carefully curated, as if almost by accident.
If you’ve always wanted to create an elegant English garden, here are a few tricks to make it happen.
Plan the layout of your English garden
You can get ideas by studying photos of English gardens to help you in your garden design. English gardens, by tradition, are square or rectangular in shape. They also have a focal point feature such as a bird bath, fountain, or a large statue. Your garden can also have wide pathways that are formal and wide. Use materials such as stone, brick or pea gravel for your paths.
Know the type of plants to put in your English garden
An English garden should have a wide variety of plants and herbs. Herbs such as rosemary, oregano, thyme basil and sage are must-haves. Traditional English gardens are kept close to the house in order to make them easily accessible.
If you want to create the feeling of abundance and wildness in your garden, add shrubs and small flowering trees. You can also include both perennial and annual flowers, group them closely together, and then spill them out onto the walkways and other garden areas.
Choose plants that are not too exotic or difficult to grow in your local area. Consider adding some traditional flowers that are usually found in an English garden. These include snapdragons, zinnias, dianthus, sunflowers, carnations, daisies, iris, hollyhock, lavender, cosmos, cone flowers, and the classic rose. Apart from the roses and lavenders, other traditional perennial flowers that you may want to consider such as lupine, delphinium, foxglove, veronica, and phlox.
Think about the kitchen – add vegetables
A great way to spruce up any type of garden is by adding some veggies along with the colorful flowers. With this type of combination, your English garden can easily attract a lot of butterflies, bees and other pollinators which can boost healthy edibles. If you like salads, you can plant veggies such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce in your garden.
Add interesting visuals to your English garden
Vertical structures such as arbors, trellises, and pergolas allow plants to climb, thereby adding interesting visuals as well as the illusion of height to the garden. When choosing a trellis, consider certain factors such as ease of access during the pruning period and the trellis’ capacity in holding the weight of a heavy vines of flowers. Make sure that your trellis has a strongly anchored support into the ground. Climbing roses make an ideal traditional flowering crawling vine over a garden arbor.
Use quirky objects that you can find around the house or at flea markets to easily spice up your garden. These can include an old dresser that’s bursting with bright and colorful flowers and an antique bicycle that holds a flower pot in the basket. Add a hint of charm by placing an old pair of rain boots or some oversized teacups as planters.
Include seating areas throughout your garden
A traditional English garden is meant to be enjoyed, so add lots of seating so you and your guests can enjoy a lazy conversation in the midst of all this beauty. Create seating in groups with sets of two seats, add in benches or even a traditional swing. Typical benches are made of ornate stones while a modern setting has benches that are made from wrought iron or a wood variety that is weather-resistant. Place them strategically and identify those special spots where you can have a tea party or even a luncheon.
Choose bold hues such as red and orange for your furniture instead of blacks, greens and grays. This trick can create a stunning focal point in your garden and give it an interesting array of colors that you can rely on even when nothing is blooming.