3 English Garden Design Ideas and How to Style It

Although the name is ‘English gardens’, you don’t always have to go to England just to experience its charm and tranquility. In fact, wherever you live, it’s possible for you to style your garden in the English style. There are three distinct styles of English gardens which get world’s popularity. Here I will explain each of English garden design ideas and how to style it so you will find one which suits your home.

English Gardens Signature Flowers

English gardens


To attain an English garden look, you should first get familiarized with the signature flowers which pop up the theme in the first glance. Whatever a style of the four English gardens designs you select, there are the typical English garden flowers you should grow in it. Those common English garden flowers are:

  • Peonies
  • Lavender
  • Primrose
  • Violet
  • Lilly of the Valley
  • All types of Daisies
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Asters
  • Echinacea
  • Aquilegia
  • Lupine
  • Verbena
  • Rudbeckia/Black Eyed Susan

Of course you don’t have to grow all those typical English gardens flowers altogether, especially if the garden is not that large. After all, getting all the flowers in a single area of garden will only make too crowded and confusing look. Hence, you shall choose only several of those flowers which make perfect combination for your English garden.

English Garden Signature Plants

typical English garden flowers


In designing your garden, there are not only typical English garden flowers which you should consider, but also the English garden signature plants to complete the overall design. The plants are very essential to balance the colorful pretty flowers in your English garden. By the case you can always logically go for shrubs and trees like hydrangea, viburnum, boxwood, or dogwood. Generally those kinds of plants will suit whatever English garden design ideas you work with.

Now we start with every detail you need to pay attention with to reenact these 3 popular English garden design ideas.

1. The English Country Garden Style

English garden design idea


The English country garden style is a breakthrough from the conventional formal French-garden trend in England during the 17th century. This English garden design idea which came in the 18th century is in overall design try to romanticize the natural beauty of the English countryside and match it with the English gentry’s lifestyle. The typical English garden design ideas for this style are the remodeling the vast land with rolling lawns which end in groves of tree or merging into flowing springs or large lake. The detailed elements of the English country garden itself are as follow:

  • Pathways: The pathways aren’t firmly paved. The natural well-worn path in the grass which is made by walking will lead to varied elements of interest in your English garden.
  • Hedges: As the landscape of the English country garden is supposed to have airy, open and natural ambiance, hence you should avoid topiaries as well as clipped and shaped hedges.
  • Lawns: The lawn should be styled after the rippling the countryside’s meadows take the most of this English garden style.
  • Structure: The structure of the English country garden is almost similar with a Chinese pavilion or Greek monopteros. Adding some statues or carefully assembled ruins will make the landscape looks more interesting.
  • Water Element: To complete this English garden and landscaping style, you should add water features like artificial pond or natural lake to create a natural look. You are also in liberty as well to include a footbridge across the water feature.

2. The Classic English Garden

English garden


Moving on from the “almost offensively green” English country gardens, in the 20th century era, the gardening style is developed into the classic English gardens or Victorian gardens. The palpable difference of those two English garden design ideas is mainly on the color selection. In the classic English gardens there are more careful colors additions compared to the English country style. The main characteristics of this English garden are the refined design as well as the well-manicure appearances. It’s dominated with geometrical shapes and the framework is neatly arranged for the typical English gardens flowers and plants.

  • Pathway: The pathway to connect the entrance and the exit of this English garden is mostly wide, graveled or brick-paved. It works as the straight line which forms a main axis.
  • Hedges: The neatly clipped hedges are the key element to form the geometrical framework of this English gardens style.
  • Lawns: The key of the classic style laid on the perfect laid out lawns. The grass is grown on every space between the hedges.
  • Structure: There must be an area for the outdoor room in the classic English gardens and landscaping design. Hence, structures like arbors, gazebos and seating arrangements is highly demanded.
  • Water Elements: You can put in the center of the classic English garden a birdbath or fountain, or a circular or rectangular pool in the middle of its lawn.

3. The English Cottage Garden

English garden and landscaping


Compared to the previous styles, the English garden design ideas for cottage garden is way more informal with the sheer of exuberance. Despite its delightful informality, this style is perhaps the most popular one. Although it may look informal, you still have some elements to plan in order to style it in the perfect English gardens look.

  • Pathways: The ideal design for the English cottage garden pathway is the curvaceous one which makes the seating areas and flower beds accessible. It can be just a gravel path edged with simply bricks or varied plantings or just narrow mud as the border.
  • Lawns: It’s not essential to have lawns in your cottage garden, yet it’s okay to have the unplanted areas covered with the grass.
  • Structure: The wood or iron structures like benches, fences, climbers, arches or trellises will pop up the charm of the overall English garden and landscaping design.
  • Water Elements: A small lily pond or birdbath, especially if it’s styled with recycled stuff can fancy the English cottage garden.
    After looking at the characteristics of each English garden and landscaping style, now you should be more eager to design it with one design which suits your personal taste the most. So let’s start designing your romantic English gardens!

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