Garden Landscaping Design Ideas for Different Styles

From sleek modern to an English garden, there’s a landscape style that will suit your home and climate. Consider your terrain, the amount of sun or shade and the activities you want to enjoy in your yard before you finalize any design plans.

Classic landscaping features symmetrical patterns, straight lines and precise geometric shapes with neatly trimmed plants such as hedges and flowers. This style often requires extensive maintenance.

Formal Style

Distinguished by straight lines, geometric shapes and symmetry, formal landscapes add a sense of luxury and grandeur to your outdoor space. Whether you’re designing for a grand estate or simply want to create an uncluttered and peaceful garden, these formal landscaping ideas will help you achieve your goals.

Creating Structure

Formal gardens need clear structures to help them feel organized and balanced. Evergreen shrubs and neatly clipped hedges are a great way to add structure to your landscape because they are permanent elements that remain in shape year-round. You can use them to define pathways, create a backdrop or even a focal point. If you’re going for a more organic look, try planting flowers and other plants that are easily maintained with minimal pruning.

Flower Power

You can add a lot of floral beauty to your formal garden with colorful flowers and ornamental foliage. Many types of plants work well in this style, including annuals, perennials and shrubs with a dense growth habit. Use them to create mass plantings or in small nooks of the garden. A classic touch is to plant them in concentric rings around a fountain or other water feature. Or try a “parterre” gardening technique, which uses boxwood or other hedges to create patterns that mimic the shape of the surrounding landscape.

The Modern Garden

Contemporary landscape design is often defined by clean lines and a simple layout, with a sophisticated look that is both elegant and serene. You can add a bit of interest to the garden by choosing interesting plant shapes and introducing texture with gravel walkways, pavers or wood decking. A natural stone patio is a popular choice for a modern landscape because it offers a classic aesthetic while being low-maintenance.

The Family Garden

In the family garden, design is focused on achieving functional and usable spaces for kids and adults alike. Monkey bars and a pergola for swings and slides can be built to create a play area, while benches and trellis structures can provide seating. The garden can also incorporate a variety of interesting textures, from rough-hewn timbers to textured composite decking and pavers.

The English Garden

The English garden, or cottage garden, is characterized by lush foliage and flowers in a more informal arrangement. Colorful roses and fragrant lavender are popular choices, but any type of flower or plant that grows well in your climate can be included. Use a variety of shapes and colors to add interest to the garden, and mix in some herbs for a culinary twist.

Lighting Your Garden

Adding lighting to the garden will help enhance its ambiance and make it more usable for day or night enjoyment. You can choose from a wide variety of lights, including solar path lights and garden spotlights that you can mount on posts or fences. For a more dramatic effect, install a set of recessed or wall-mounted lights that you can control with a timer.

With these garden landscape design ideas, you can create a stunning and functional backyard space that will be enjoyed by everyone in your family. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that the key is balance — too much structure can create an uninviting and overcrowded feel, while too much whimsy can feel chaotic and out of place. Be sure to incorporate a combination of both styles for the most successful results.

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