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15 Best English Garden Ideas to Transform Your Backyard Into a Charming Oasis

Here's how to create the English-style garden of your dreams.


Looking for fresh landscaping ideas to make your yard into the English garden of your dreams? Devise a grand plan for vast sweeps of color and plantings inspired by the gorgeously organic English gardening style with these easy tips for planting English gardens.


Of course, if you're planning on changing things up in your yard, you might be wondering: What is an English garden, anyway? Here's what you should know: The term isn't easily defined, but it generally refers to a romantic, sweeping landscape design in which the land overflows with plants and lush flowers in an organic-looking sort of way. First developed in 18th-century England, it is thought that the English garden was initially intended to go against the "architectural gardens" of the time, which were far more rigid in structure, pattern, and shaping.


The trick to recreating the style at home: Combine tradition and elegance with a sense of whimsy. Opt for meandering paths, meadow-like florals, twisting ivy, friendly iron gates, and other fairytale-inspired features you'd expect to see in the old-fashioned garden of your dreams. We've got tons of other tips and tricks in the following slides, from big backyard ideas to small backyard ideas and types of flowers to achieve all your English garden ideas. Let's get planting!




Variety is everything.


Tall plants, short plants, pink flowers, white flowers—all of these things can be placed next to one another in an English garden. Of course, you'll have to make some adjustments to ensure that all of your plants have access to sunlight and aren't too crowded, but in general, it's best not to overthink a garden like this one and instead to opt for an organic, free-flowing plan.









Meandering paths are a lovely touch.


At first glance, a garden path might seem like too much work. But actually, it couldn't be simpler to source and lay the right one for your garden—and the payoff is big. Not only will you give yourself an easy route in and out of the space, but you'll also be afforded the luxury of watering your plants without having to step into tall grasses or get your shoes muddy. It's a win-win!







Add a gate.


There are few things more magical in an English garden than a simple gate. They're easy enough to purchase and install, and the visual impact is huge. Don't have a wall into which to install your new structure? You can also buy stand-alone designs that can be surrounded by simple bushes and vines.









Think both vertically and horizontally.


It's not just about what's on the ground! Be sure to think about the "y-axis" of your space as well. Twisting ivy, draping wisteria, and high-flying vines are just a few of the options you can choose from.











Incorporate seating.


English gardens are meant to be enjoyed and savored, which is why they often include benches. What better way to sit and take in all the beauty around you? Wooden, stone, and metal structures all work beautifully in these spaces.









Create lush and full garden beds for a cottage look.


Plant of variety of flowers—roses, lavender, delphinium, and other colorful options—close together to replicate garden you'd find in the countryside. A dense and rich garden with plenty of character is what you're after.







Use hedges to landscape and enhance.


Make the most of your yard and garden by using large bushes to create separate spaces. This will give you even more areas to fill with plants to enjoy plus, you'll have separate areas for entertaining friends and family.







Use unique shapes and clean lines to create a breathtaking view.


English gardens aren't just floral masterpieces, they're incredibly architectural, too. Plant flowers and all sorts of plants in rows and shapes to create interest.


Add roses wherever you can.


When it comes to gardening, nothing's more English than a fragrant rose bush.


Make a bold statement by planting in profusion.


Avoid the temptation to snap up every variety that catches your eye. You can achieve a lavish look like this with just two types of climbing rose: 'William Baffin' and 'New Dawn.' The bottom line: You only need to plant a few kinds of things, but do it in big sweeps.





Embrace high-contrast combos.


While citrus-hued daylilies are already pretty splashy on their own, buck conventional wisdom by pairing them with alliums in equally assertive but seemingly contradictory shades of purple—to brilliant result. Color is particularly important where you don't have structure.










Define a garden with horticulture and structure.


The couple who own the garden pictured initially installed one of these quaint shelters to attract bluebirds, only to see it occupied by swallows. So they tried another...and another...and wound up with an unintended benefit: The line of roosts provides the suggestion of a garden wall.







Furniture doesn't have to blend into the background.


Instead of the usual grays, greens, and blacks, choose hot, bold hues for outdoor chairs. The result: a stunning focal point that draws attention to the view beyond.






Don't forget the view from inside.


Does your bedroom overlook an arbor? Try planting a trumpet vine at each of an arbor structure's six posts. It will look like the vines are floating in the air from a second-story window, plus they bloom from July to the first frost.








Sun and shade can get along just fine.


Embrace an area with a collision of light and shadows to create a cozy dining area. Hydrangea petiolaris thrives in the shade provided by a north-facing potting shed wall, while desert agaves soak up the bright daytime light.




This article was first published on https://www.countryliving.com/gardening/garden-ideas/advice/g1665/english-garden-design/

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