3 Flower Garden Styles to Inspire Your Own Design

by Jan Kennemer 10/31/2021

Designing a beautiful flower garden takes both planning and creativity. Choosing the right combination and arrangement of flowering plants might seem like a lot of work, but it will offer huge returns both in personal enjoyment and home value. With so many design possibilities, it’s hard to know where to begin unless you have a plan in mind. Here are some popular flower garden styles to inspire your own design:

Cottage Gardens

Cottage gardens have exploded in popularity recently with more and more homeowners spending time in their own outdoor spaces. The whimsical and casual feel of a cottage garden is fun to plan and even more fun to observe. To use cottage gardens as inspiration, start by mixing in flowers that are purely decorative with plants that serve other purposes. A great example of this would be edible herbs, many of which flower under the right conditions. Plant a mixture of colors and sizes while avoiding pattern or symmetry. You want the flower placements to appear natural and somewhat random while still making definitive choices.

Some great flowers for cottage gardens include fuchsia, foxgloves, daisies and delphiniums. Use climbing plants like wisteria and tea rose along fences or trellises to make the garden appear over-abundant and full of life.

Formal Gardens

If you prefer a more calculated and tidy aesthetic, consider formal gardens for inspiration. Formal gardens are all about clean lines and perfectly placed plants that seem both harmonious and regal. In designing a flower garden with this style in mind, it works best to rely on symmetry and simplicity. Plant flowers of the same color together or in alternating positions to create visual interest while keeping the layout neat. It helps to choose only 2 or 3 different flower varieties to plant in a formal garden—any more than that and you risk losing the simplistic, sophisticated vibe.

Another key element of more formal gardens is perfectly manicured trees and hedges. Try planting boxwood to define pathways and border your flower beds.

Wildflower Gardens

Another increasingly popular flower garden style is the natural and eco-friendly wildflower garden. This style of garden relies on the choice of plants themselves more than their arrangement. In a wildflower garden, you want to use as many local and native plants as you can. Combine color and greenery for a natural and wild presentation without seeming overgrown.

In choosing plants for a wildflower garden, observe your local ecosystem for inspiration. Focus on flowers that will attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators to your garden for an extra eco-friendly boost. Start with seed mixes found at your local nursery or garden store to cover the area with hardy and self-sufficient plants that will thrive without a lot of maintenance. If you’re stuck, you can also start with ornamental wildflower varieties like coneflowers, columbine and daisies.

As with all landscaping projects, researching your plant choices is crucial to a successful and beautiful flower garden. Know not only which flowers will thrive in your climate but which ones will work well together, especially in more closely knit designs like cottage or formal gardens. As long as you take the time to make educated choices you can use these tips as a starting point to creating the garden of your dreams.

About the Author

Jan Kennemer

Jan will show you how you can live close to Washington, DC – by public transit and/or highway – and still enjoy all the many amenities and friendliness of a quiet community. Jan is a life-long resident of Arlington, Va. So, she is very familiar with northern Virginia …Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria and close-in Fairfax. She knows where to find those little out-of the-way places where you will still get excellent value and a home that meets your needs. As a Realtor® for over 20 years, Jan has developed a customized system for marketing and selling properties which includes the latest technologies combined with tried and true practices. She has received special training in working with first time buyers, repeat buyers and seniors. She is a certified VHDA trainer and is certified as a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES©). Jan is also a certified e-Pro. She gets results you want – the best price in the shortest time. Jan is dedicated to helping clients satisfy their needs and wants while providing them with a strong investment for the future. She is readily available to provide explanations and information. She won’t push you into making an uncomfortable choice. Jan helps you to fully understand the transaction, so that you can always make an informed decision based on facts and figures.