Garden Plans with a Formal Flavor

Celebrate symmetry and rhythm with these classic garden layouts.


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Fresh Formal Garden Plan
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Fresh and Formal Garden

    Though the garden design is simple -- a handful of plants ringed by boxwood -- it makes a dramatic presentation. Garden size: 10 by 17 feet.

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Patio Vegetable Garden

    Enjoy delicious homegrown carrots, beans, lettuce, and more by planting this garden in your yard. Garden size: 7 by 7 feet.

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Shady Birdbath Garden

    Surround a fountain or birdbath with a planting of shade-loving impatiens and polka-dot plant. Garden size: 9 by 9 feet.

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A Small, Formal Veggie Patch

    Formal gardens don't have to be big, dramatic affairs. Here, a simple raised bed with flowers and vegetables creates a formal feel -- especially when repeated in a pattern. Garden size: 8 by 6 feet.

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Classic Beauty with Roses

    Six snow-white miniature roses team up with catmint and boxwood to create a formal circular garden perfect for a small space. Even when the roses and catmint are not in bloom, this plan makes a strong statement. Garden size: 10 by 10 feet.

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Create a Knot Garden

    Break out the boxwood and your garden shears. This knot garden is a throwback to classic French formalism and the perfect accessory for any well-dressed French-flavored home. Garden size: 26 by 14 feet.

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Formal and Easy-Care Garden

    Plan to make a big statement in your yard with this big but easy-care garden plan. The boxwood-enclosed garden is easy to keep up -- just shear the boxwood once or twice a year and enjoy the show. Garden size: 30 by 30 feet.

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Go Formal with Containers

    Symmetry and repetition are two common aspects of formal gardens. This simple container garden gets its beat from the alternating notes of red and white. Garden size: 18 by 4 feet.

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Create a Romantic, Formal Container Garden

    In this formal-style garden, a pink David Austin rose gets all the attention. Framed by hydrangeas and assorted perennials, the rose is a real standout. Ornate containers support the classic look, but more contemporary versions would work just as well. Garden size: 18 by 10 feet.

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Go Formal with Daylilies

    This fountain-centered layout offers the sound of water and a host of easy-growing daylilies. Garden size: 28 by 28 feet.

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A Formal Salad Garden

    The French call this a potager -- a kitchen garden. With its rhythmic layout and strait-laced rows, this salad bed is a lovely source of veggies. Choose the lettuce and spinach varieties to please your palate, but don't leave out the beautiful climbing roses whose blooms will dress up your salads. Garden size: 26 by 19 feet.

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A Four-Square Kitchen Garden

    Here's another example of how you can create an elegant, formal flavor with a vegetable garden. This large plan features warm- and cool-season crops, decorative annuals, and evergreen shrubs. Garden size: 30 by 30 feet.

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Formal Flair Around a Water Feature

    A rectangular pond creates a beautiful focal point for this symmetrical, formal garden plan. Garden size: 34 by 24 feet.

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Create a Small-Space Formal Garden

    Formal and rustic don't usually go together, but this garden plan makes it work. It features evergreen shrubs, perennials, annuals, a bark-covered path, woven-wattle fence, four plant tepees, and space for a central focal point. Garden size: 24 by 24 feet.

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A Formal Foundation Garden

    A colorful alternative to the standard all-green landscape, this semiformal foundation planting mixes broadleaf shrubs and a sculptural tree with flowering perennials and groundcovers. Lay a path of steppingstones around the front of the border to define the garden's shape and to provide access to the side yard. Garden size: 25 by 12 feet.

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Patio Garden with a Formal Air

    The regularity of paving stones cries out for an equally formal style of garden. This patio garden gains symmetry primarily from the facing arrangement of lattice panels, each cloaked in large-flowered clematis. Garden size: 25 by 16 feet.

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Garden with Your Neighbor

    If your next-door neighbor loves to garden as much as you do -- or at least appreciates the beauty of flowers -- here's a garden for you to share. It is designed to span two properties in the area between the houses. Garden size: 21 by 16 feet.

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Heritage Vegetable Garden

    It makes poetic sense that a garden of time-honored vegetables would be arranged in a time-honored formal fashion. There's no reason your vegetable garden can't look as good as the rest of your landscape. Garden size: 20 by 10 feet.

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Solve a Slope

    A mix of roses and other favorite plants is a clever solution to a slope. These terraced beds with symmetrical plantings look great all spring, summer, and fall.

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