Top 6 Landscaping and Garden Styles

Ever walked through a garden and thought, "I'd love this in my yard"?

When you stroll through a garden you enjoy, you might get a feeling that it’s something you would like in your own backyard. But you might have some trouble trying to describe it. You just know it suits you.

This is completely understandable. There are so many landscape styles and themes out there that it can be hard to determine one from another.

In the end, you just want a backyard that fits your personal style, as well as your home architecture and your family’s lifestyle and habits.

To get the elements you want for your space and have a cohesive look and feel means embracing a style. Let’s talk about the different styles to help you determine which one might be the best fit for your home’s custom garden.


1. English garden

One of the most classic looks is the English garden landscape style and theme.

As a break from more formal straight lines, the English garden style is full of flowers in mixes of colors, shapes and textures. Richly layered landscape beds are curvy and informal, boasting great variety. Groundcovers soften garden edges. Perennials are planned to bloom in succession, so there is always something to see and different plants are always in bloom. You’ll see everything from peonies to hydrangeas to roses in English gardens.

You might find a wooden pergola with jasmine or wisteria growing up and over it. You’ll want quiet places to sit and enjoy your garden. Water features are also elements incorporated into English gardens to bring tranquility and even reflection.

Adding sculpture and decoration can also bring elegance to the space.

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2. Japanese garden

If you’re looking for a place for peaceful contemplation, you may want to opt for a Japanese landscape style and theme.

This garden style begins with four key elements: water, plants, rocks and ornaments. Then your landscape designer will use asymmetry, balance and symbolism to create the overall look.

Common features of Japanese gardens include koi ponds, waterfalls, stone basins and even small bridges. The result is a spiritual haven with enclosed spaces that encourage meditation.


3. Modern/contemporary garden

When you crave straight, even lines and simple plant palettes, the landscape style and theme that fits this best is the modern or contemporary one.

Hardscapes are major elements of these spaces. While blooms may be more limited, color will come from stone, steel and different shades of greenery. You’ll also find a lot of contrast in modern landscapes where darks and lights play off of each other.

This style works best with modern architecture that mirrors these crisp, symmetrical lines.


4. Italian garden

The Italian or Tuscan landscape style and theme is known for vast rolling hills, verdant vineyards and topiaries.

You can have this look on a smaller scale with organized potted plants in urns, tiered fountains, a labyrinth or small area of walls and paths, boxed hedges, a Mediterranean plant palette, and an arbor or pergola.

Growing your own herbs or vegetables in a small garden near your outdoor kitchen is also a great way to bring this style to life in your yard.


5. Country garden

If you have a farmhouse, ranch or rustic architecture, the country landscape style and theme is a great complement.

Today’s country garden style boasts dense plantings, flowers and traditional building materials. You might find arbors or gazebos, antiques, sundials, birdhouses and wicker furniture mixed with brick pavers to create an area that enhances nature and can be described as quaint and charming.

Garden rooms and meandering paths are also common in these types of landscapes.


6. Traditional garden

Inspired by the 17th century Versailles gardens, traditional gardens are very organized and functional.

The goal in a traditional garden is for well-defined spaces where your outdoor living can be easily defined and enjoyed. Geometric shapes and repeated patterns may show up, as well as the use of boxwood shrubs to create overall garden shapes or room borders.

Find a style that makes you happy

Now that you’ve read about six common garden styles, you’re probably trying to figure out which one suits you best.

You might like clean lines, but also crave a lot of flowers. This can get confusing because you might even find yourself identifying with more than one landscape style and theme.

That’s OK. Ultimately, you want to have a space that you are going to use and enjoy. If you have trouble figuring out what kind of style you like, the experts at Rossen Landscape would love to help. We have designed all of the major landscape styles and by asking you questions and helping you prioritize what kind of areas you will use most, we can help you find your unique garden style so you can have a landscape you love.

Ready to get creative in your landscape? We’d love to bring our custom landscape design process to your space. Learn more about gardens we’ve designed here or contact us for a consultation about how we can craft an outdoor space that is truly unique.