Adapt classical symmetry to meet the needs of modern living, such as space for outdoor entertaining or for growing herbs. Take your design up a notch by getting to know a wide range of landscape materials and the ways they can be combined.
A checkerboard of white paving and emerald grass against a dark hedge offers a modern interpretation of a traditional format.
Symmetrical layouts are often less obvious when viewed from eye level, especially when taller plants are used. The combination of formal design and more relaxed, organic planting is a tried-and-tested formula, but it requires skill in balancing a limited palette of repeated forms, textures and colors.
By leading the eye through the garden, this long, airy avenue of grass demonstrates the value of taking a mellow approach to symmetry.
Using variety of forms, textures, and colors softens hard lines and sharp edges. Delicate herbaceous plants spills out onto the path, deliberately contrasting with the formal garden layout.Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009
Traditionally, it was the symmetrical pattern on the ground that dominated garden layout. Nowadays, the geometric approach works best when it can be admired in three dimensions, for example from a terrace or window above. Here, box-edged beds frame seasonal plantings which will be replaced, from spring to summer and on.