"Power Gardening": Opulence and Restraint in Your Formal Garden

Design a formal garden inspired by European classical architecture. You don't have to live at Versailles to bring the basics - symmetry, balance, and restraint - to life. In fact, formal gardens work well in small spaces.

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Formal Garden Leads to Fountain
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Ultimate Symmetry

Formal gardens start with an axis, or central line, as the basis for the garden plan. The axis could be a pathway or lawn, or even a central planting bed. Generally, the axis focuses on a dominant feature, such as a sculpture, statue or, as shown here, element framed by an arch.

Once you've established the central line in your design, divide the space into halves or quarters, which you can mark out using grass or paving. Then, repeat plantings in each space in order to keep a sense of coherence and to direct the eye to a focal point along the central line.

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