The image of the traditional English garden with all its pastoralism and harmony for many today remains not only a source of inspiration, but also a model of perfection. Explain the magic of English landscape design style simply by climate or temperament is impossible. A unique sense of proportion, the ability to bring nobility even in the simplest flower beds, the art of using contrasts not for striking images, but for comfort and atmosphere, a special attitude to the balance of functionality and aesthetics has always distinguished the model English garden. And today its canons remain unshakable and inimitable. But not so secret, that it is impossible to recreate English design on your own plot.
Any style of landscape design has its elements, without which the garden project will not succeed. Canons, or basic principles of design that define the character of the garden, easily recognizable and inimitable, do not violate even in modern interpretations and the most daring designers. In the English garden such "laws" and "rules" are especially numerous. After all, the style of the traditional British garden is characterized by the same primness that made English interiors famous. True, it is not so easy to grasp the individual elements in this style: the atmosphere and feeling in an English garden are sometimes more important than the specific means of expressing the idea. Let's try to outline the 10 basic elements underlying the English garden.
Strict framework for colorful show
The English garden is, above all, a garden with an elaborate structure. Its main purpose is to create a walking area, such a landscape and series of objects on which one wants to walk without end and which one wants to admire, against the background of which not only the body but also the soul can rest. The "set" of mandatory zones and objects in such a garden is limited. And it is limited to a fairly strict list of common techniques, which are "repulsed" by the house. A large lawn or lawn, a front garden, a gazebo or pavilion, a fruit or orchard with a decorative vegetable garden, a pond - these are the objects that are present in the traditional English garden. Zones are separated by neatly trimmed green hedges or stone walls. Brightly highlighting the main objects, such a garden creates a quite delineated framework. In the remaining area, a play of picturesque ensembles is set up, transformed into an ideal walking park with striking harmony.
The space between the structural elements is divided into walking zones and framed with the help of lawns and flower beds, linked together by lawns, paved paths or appealing to the gravel driveways with soft paths. Flowerbeds are most often represented by a series of repeatedly shaped beds framed by austere boxwood borders that create a simplistic colorful maze. But dominant in the English garden are always landscape and colorful flowerbeds - one-sided and double-sided mixborders. Wide, casual and so romantic - they are the hallmark of the English garden.
Classics and romance in the square
When the English style is ranked among landscape trends in landscape design, usually a little sly. After all, the English garden really brings the canons of park art to nature and its beauty, but it does it royally and so pretentiously that it is difficult to call such a garden a model of naturalness. In the English garden except for those very strict lawns, sheared fences and architectural elements and really all the space is filled with free, landscape plantings. But they imitate not quite a wilderness, like in the Dutch garden or prairie style, but a pastoral-fairy picture, a kind of idyll of nature in bloom in all its glory.
Modest, almost wild plants and bushes, as if the hand of the gardener did not touch them - not for the English garden. Here everything must be perfectly colorful. Even the contrast between the leaves of ferns and vines in the shade or lavender and cufflinks in a sunny flowerbed. It's a landscape luxury that wouldn't be a sin to send to a postcard or an exhibition poster. So take into account: an English garden should give exactly this impression - aristocratism, which, having gone beyond the strict framework, has not lost its selectivity.
A similar approach - an ostentatious, idealized choice - is worth to be applied and in the selection of plants. The classics of the classics are what is needed in an English garden. If shrubs, then roses or boxwoods, if trees - then catalpas, maples or ornamental apple trees. And of perennial partners we should pay attention to untouchable, favorite favorite -lavender, catnip, veronica, delphiniums, geichera, geraniums. But even among the bulbs in an English garden there are only classics - tulips, narcissi, muscari. Exemplary, with an impeccable reputation, such plants retain the status of fashionable for more than a century. And not boring at all. They should be recognizable at first sight, have a bright personality - texture, color, size, growth pattern. Unsightly and obscure plants are not suitable for this style: aristocratic plants are also needed for the style.
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The English garden is always and everywhere dominated by green. But not in ancient hedges and blank yew walls, but above all in lawns. It is impossible to imagine any project in this classic style without them. Carpets fill the space and balance the lush, romantic, colorful and so textured flower beds and squares, serve as a "field", a canvas on which the pastoral of a colorful garden unfolds. Without this background, the charm and harmony of the design will be irrevocably lost. If you want to create an English garden, then do not be afraid to use lawns. Create from them large austere lawns, decorate ponds with them, "connect" flower beds, form walking zones. In short, create a green backdrop, perfect for admiring magnificent perennials. And remember that a lawn can be called not only grounds, but also magnificent grass paths.
Individual approach to plants
While the English garden has that special balance in which to allocate the main stars in decoration is impossible, the basis of its success - exactly in a personal approach to each plant and respect to the need to study their features, character and preferences. In no flower bed or flower garden in this style are any plants more or less important. Everything radiates harmony and self-sufficiency here, even the tiniest accents will get the attention they need. After all, any fine art, including the art of garden design, is built first of all on profound knowledge.
And if you plan to recreate the charm of an English garden on your plot, first of all, show exactly the respect for the plants used. And rely not on a gut feeling, but on a scientific approach and training. Do not save time: study all the nuances of growing, all the features of specific species. Build charts, make catalogs, create whole "cases" for your flower beds and rainbows. This is a fascinating process that will bring as much pleasure as contemplating your result. This way you can always check the information, easily adjust ensembles if the need arises, you will always know what to do in unforeseen circumstances. Even the crops you know can surprise you, and their temperament and peculiarities of agricultural techniques are worth studying in detail.
Harmony in an English garden reigns not only in structure or materials, but also in colorism. The ability to achieve balance and then "make" the garden not lose it at any time of the year is truly unique. That said, the principles of the English color scheme are so simple that they seem obvious and almost boring. But only in theory: it is much more difficult to achieve harmony of colors in practice.
When you look at the panoramas of British gardens, whether famous cottage, park or palace gardens, one cannot help comparing them with the paintings of the best classical landscape painters. And it is the skillfully selected colors, which seem to be mixed by the artist, and there is the main secret of the English garden. It is characterized by neither dull, nor restrained, nor contrasting or pastel palette. Only gardens become English, where shades and shimmers merge into a single picturesque picture. And where the contrast is built on the game of pure watercolor tones and colors with the undoubtedly dominant calm green, for each too bright color there is a soothing counterbalance, for each bright shade there is a deeper and richer tone. And focus on the most favorably combined shades of not one color, but neighboring colors in the color wheel.
So, pink mixed with purple, yellow with orange, blue with purple - different colors, but they are, nevertheless, particularly harmonious and related in character. Selecting plants for the English garden, choose the most traditional and pure tones - if pink, then lollipop or rich, purple - perfect purple, purple - cold and sparkling, blue - delicate and dreamy, and yellow - fruity and "juicy". In short, choose classic and even old-fashioned colors. Purity of conception in the English garden is embodied through purity of colors.
Not a baton of blossoms, but a baton of images
In the English garden you should strive to create the effect of seasonality, not a continual chain show. You have probably happened to admire photographs of homesteads and cottages, which in spring are as if surrounded by glades of daffodils, and in summer are adorned with regal roses that dominate the design. The main goal is to change the appearance of the garden from season to season like a seasonal transformation of interiors. For spring, summer and fall, a combination of the most beloved to the heart crops are selected, which together create a perfect ensemble. A few plants become the main stars of the season, and as the seasons change, another group blooms, repeating neither the character nor the color palette of the first. Thus in English gardens do not create the effect of permanence, but emphasize respect for nature and its metamorphosis. And thanks to this method there is never a dull moment: the garden changes its images, while remaining perfect in English, but always different. It is not by chance that she is called a garden aristocrat, it is the rose that best demonstrates the beauty of the typical English garden in both the palace and cottage format plants. Of course, English roses should be used in the English style - magnificent awnings with their old-fashioned romanticism, modern endurance and strong fragrance. Miniature beauties create luxurious borders, modern rose hips create flowering hedges, groundcover roses can fill the space and create the effect of fairy cascades in flower beds and squares. Lianas on arches and pergolas will add to the number of vertical accents and become a regal luxurious background for benches and gazebos. As for classic bush roses, floribundas, tea hybrids and other beauties, they will be the main soloists in flowerbeds and squares. And with whatever, but with roses in the English style can not be afraid to overdo it: a lot of roses in an English garden does not happen. And it is roses - the real queens of the English garden - perfectly reveal the beauty of plants, selected on the principle of aristocracy.
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Scrupulous selection of height
Lush flower ensembles that fill the framework of the strict structure of the English garden, produce not only the impression of seasonality, pastoral, pastel, but also unprecedented opulence. All flowering plantings in such a garden should look like impeccable, filled with dozens of plants, but at the same time - not too complex. Lush landscape thickets of flowering beauties are created by the skillful combination of plants in height. So that no loose soil can be seen under the plants, they should complement each other and hide the flaws. The main principle of creating both flowerbeds and squares in the English garden is a strict increase in height from the foreground to the background in one-sided objects and from the sides to the center in double-sided mixborders. Do not think that such a strict selection will be boring: plant textures and differences in density of crowns and turf fully compensate for the lack of interesting vertical structure.
Even breaking the rules, in an English garden, it is worth sticking to the canons. The only option, allowing a departure from the principle from low to high, is the placement of high accents among low partners or soloists, standing out sharply against the background of the environment. Such crops can be conventionally called "living sculptures": they really, like a statue on the lawn, rise against the luxurious background and bring even more classic motifs into the composition. A cut orb of boxwood or a pyramid of yew, a stilted rose seems to float above the compositions and arrange architectural accents in them.
Some garden, some museum
Another element, without which it is impossible to imagine any English garden, is the skilful selection of accessories. For garden ensembles they are chosen with no less taste and care than for English interiors. Each decoration must be a true work of art and an important detail that emphasizes and sets the mood."
It is impossible to do in the English style without garden sculptures - classic and somewhat old-fashioned. A simple statue in a flower bed of roses, a small fountain or a stone trough marking the crossing point between the flower beds, cleverly shaping the bend in the path or drawing attention to the far corner of the garden - each piece of garden sculpture large and small should be set out so as to crown the ensemble and give it a new, aesthetic perfection. Do not neglect accessories in the form of properly placed lighting, skillfully hidden benches, funny characters, animals or given a new life items of everyday life - for example, an old broken set or teapot. They can become little touches that fill the garden with English charm. The main thing is not to go overboard and place them in the most prominent place.
The English garden is a landscape surrounded by love. It is a style for those who enjoy even the most ordinary treatments, who have the time and desire to prune the roses and mow the lawns. And the more regular care and love is put into such a garden, the more beautiful it becomes. After all, a project that combines so many mowed objects and beautifully blooming plants will have to be cared for constantly. And to the style "for the lazy" English garden does not include. True, to simplify life will help the right choice of plants and their species, but the timely care should not forget all the same.
Will not look good neither beautiful lawns, nor flower beds in boxwood frames, nor inimitable "visiting" squares will not look for years on their own. Even one neglected plant, from which the wilted inflorescences were not removed or the dry shoots were forgotten to remove, will spoil the whole picture. And weeds or an uncut hedge are out of the question... So care is an essential element in any English garden.
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