Garden Design Ideas

Check out these three garden design ideas for your city or country home for a touch of inspiration.

Dense Garden Patch With Foliage Plants & Ornamental Grasses

Lush Garden Plot With Ornamental Grass

2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Garden Design View original photo.

DK - Garden Design, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Foliage plants, ornamental grasses, ornamental shrubs and boxwood hedges create a lush and dense garden tableau. The windswept garden is durable and relatively maintenance-free.

Country Setting

The clients here wanted to marry their modern-style house with its country setting. They asked designer Paul Williams for a planting plan that relied more on shape and texture than color. This is one of four matching borders, each measuring 20 x 10 feet.

Plants Used

Phormium tenax
Fuchsia magellanica
‘Versicolor'
Stipa tenuissima
Perovskia
‘Blue Spire'
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. repens
Heuchera
‘Plum Pudding'
Euphorbia x martini (shown cut back)
Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla ‘Black Lace'

Design in Focus

In this design, the plants were chosen specifically for their shape and foliage effect. Plants with contrasting forms are placed next to each other to stimulate visual action, for example, the upright sword-like Phormium against the lower growing Ceanothus. Leaf shape is also considered and the same principle applied, with wispy grasses set against the neat foliage of Euphorbia.

Square Border Garden with Shade Plantings

Shade Tolerant Plants Chosen for Square Border

DK - Garden Design, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

A high stone wall with cherry laurel bookends provides an interesting backdrop for the myriad shade tolerant plantings in this square border.

The color scheme is muted with most flowers falling within the blue, purple, and pink range, while the evergreens offer year-round appeal and act as a foil for the skeletal grasses over the winter.

Shady Area

This 11-foot square border is backed by a high stone wall and cherry laurel. The owners asked designer Paul Williams for shade-tolerant planting that would mirror the formality of the adjacent garden. The plants here are mostly green with the odd splash of color.

Plants Used

Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata'
Gazania
Prunus laurocerasus
Hosta
'Krossa Regal'
Taxus baccata

Colorful City Garden

Colorful City Garden

2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Garden Design

DK - Garden Design, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Design in Focus

To emphasize the formality of the garden on the other side of the path, this border (of which this is one section) is broken up with yew "buttresses" every 10 feet. Each section contains a simple planting and an urn or feature plant. Foliage is important: the plants need to be shapely and shade tolerant. Seasonal plants in the stone urn can contrast with or complement the surrounding plants.

City Garden

Adam Frost designed this city garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London in 2007. Soft red bricks are the perfect foil for the color-themed planting, which is a sumptuous mix of crimson, pink, and mauve.

Plants Used

Salix elaeagnos subsp. angustifolia
Persicaria bistorta
‘Superba'
Rosa ‘Souvenir du Docteur Jamain'
Heuchera ‘Chocolate Ruffles'
Astrantia major ‘Roma'

Design in Focus

At the center of this border, which measures roughly 4 x 6 feet, is a highly fragrant, dark crimson cup-shaped rose, its glossy green leaves forming an open framework for the slim stems of the Persicaria and Astrantia to grow through. These pale pink perennials complement the rich tones of the rose and help reflect light into the design, and are fringed at ground level by a wine-colored Heuchera. The Salix, with its pale green filigree leaves, provides the perfect neutral backdrop to the warm colors.

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