It is easy to think formal garden design is only suitable for large country estates such as Blenheim palace, however formal design can work really well in a small garden.  Here are some points to consider when creating a formal design in your own garden:

  1. Shape and Structure- formal design is all about shape and structure.  You can take inspiration from the traditional formal designs found in large estates and scale them down to fit your own garden. Key formal design principles build on a good sense of geometry, symmetry and balance.
  2. Modern or Traditional- the key principles of formal design can be applied to a modern or traditional garden style.  We know this to be true given the geometric arrangement of raised beds used in cottage gardens.  Equally the simple uncluttered style works really well with modern urban gardens.
  3. Formal Characteristics- these include, straight lines, geometric shapes, repeated planting schemes, good use of evergreens and topiary, uncluttered clean and tidy spaces.
  4. Focal points- create a focal point, such as a statue in an archway or as the centre piece of a circle.
  5. Materials - Victorian rope edging, rustic brick, circles, worn oxford octagon and Victorian tiles are a few you may consider within your formal design.