- Eclecticism is not a lack of taste, but its refined manifestation
- The main styles and directions of landscape design
- Regular or French style
- Landscape (English) style
- Baroque garden
- Country style
- Ecological style
- Ethnic style gardens
- Fantasy, Gothic, Medieval gardens
- Romantic style
- Hi-tech style
- Alpine gardens
This article will help you make a difficult choice: which style to give preference to when arranging landscape design. We will tell you about the main styles of garden decoration, their distinctive features and main principles.
Jules Renard’s words “Bad style is an imprecise thought” can characterize the correct approach to the device of landscape design. It is very important to clearly understand what exactly you want to see on your site and, based on this, choose the style of garden design. Only then the site will become truly stylish, but at the same time unique and inimitable, reflecting the views of the owner on beauty and comfort.
Style in landscape design is harmoniously combined elements and design techniques. Most of the styles used in modern landscape design have evolved over the centuries. The techniques of their design were perfected, new methods and possibilities appeared. But the original idea and design traditions were surely preserved. That is why each style is so recognizable..
Eclecticism is not a lack of taste, but its refined manifestation
It is worth starting a conversation about styles with eclecticism – a mixture of artistic styles, trends and compositional techniques.
Indeed, very often plots are decorated in this “style”. But quotes to the word “style” in relation to eclecticism in garden design can be put only if the site is designed without taking into account the features of the landscape, the nature of natural features, if there is no internal logic in its design. A tastelessly decorated landscape design does not depend on the amount of material resources that were spent on its device. The plastic furniture near the homemade wattle fence and the expensive carved oak set against the background of an oriental-style fountain with a gilded cupid “like in the Louvre” will look equally bad.
But eclecticism is a fairly popular and dynamically developing style of garden design. It allows you to mix styles and directions, use what is at hand, which is very important for summer cottages, to which everything that is no longer needed is usually taken, but it is a pity to throw it away.
Sometimes the mixing in reasonable proportions of elements belonging to different eras and styles becomes amazingly harmonious and integral. It is eclecticism that provides the widest field for self-expression. But it is this style that is the most difficult for its independent implementation..
In order for eclecticism in garden design to become just a style, the following rules should be considered:
- Eclecticism implies a mixture of two or three styles, no more.
- You should not be afraid of contradictions, but all elements should have a unifying accent. For example, the same repetitive color shade, general purpose of objects (table with mismatched chairs in the gazebo).
- Playing with a repetitive idea produces amazing results. For example, deliberate “neglect” of the site or the design of the garden in the “Soviet style” will allow you to place completely incompatible at first glance small forms, a homemade gazebo and garden furniture.
- The simplest way is to divide the site into functional zones with clearly defined boundaries. Most often this is done with arches, trellises entwined with greenery, and fences. Each zone can be decorated in its own style (but see p. 1).
What should never be done when decorating landscape design in any style:
- Clutter up the site with a large number of elements (several gazebos, a large number of benches, flower beds, etc.).
- Design garden furniture, small forms, fences, etc. in one color.
- Use artificial plants and flowers.
- Arrange zones and elements haphazardly, not thoughtfully, without communication with each other.
- Plant a large number of bright and exotic plants in one place at the same time.
The main styles and directions of landscape design
Regular or French style
It should be noted right away that this style is suitable for large (from 20 acres) plots with a flat relief. The reason lies in the very concept of this style – the domination of man over nature, his desire for order over the primordial chaos. Everything should be subordinated to this idea. A Rococo or Renaissance house should be the center of the plot’s symmetry. The elements of landscape design are in strict order relative to it – a well-groomed lawn of a strict geometric shape with the main color spot – a luxurious flower garden in which brightly flowering plants are planted. A French flower garden requires constant care – it should not have withered, stunted plants. A fountain in the form of a sculptural composition or a bowl is usually installed in the middle of the flower garden. Hedges are actively used, which should be symmetrical and neatly trimmed. Garden furniture and small forms are made of expensive natural stone or precious wood. Trees are more often planted evergreens, which tolerate cutting well. The reservoir in the form of a pond should be a verified round or rectangular shape with clearly defined banks.
The modern version of the regular style is the architectural style of the garden landscape..
Landscape (English) style
Looks great in small areas too. It is not difficult to create it with your own hands. The concept of style is fusion, unity with nature, plus coziness and comfort. Even some neglect and primordiality is allowed. Symmetry in an English garden is useless – soft and smooth lines – this is so “in English”. House with obligatory terrace. The trees are tall and shady. In the most secluded and cozy corners, it is worth placing benches and gazebos. The recreation area is separated by a trellis or an arch entwined with climbing flowering plants. Another distinctive feature of the style is multi-level flower beds. Neither gravel paths, nor hedges, nor alleys should have strict geometric lines. Even the pond, which is necessarily present in the English park, is distinguished by the absence of a well-defined coastline, it may be slightly overgrown. Sculptures should not be the center of anything, they should be placed in arbitrary places. Most of all, antique-style busts, images of animals, mossy columns, antique sundials, etc. are suitable for the English garden..
The style of luxury lovers. When arranging landscape design in this style, even some excessiveness is permissible. Suitable for large areas. It is a kind of mixture of regular and landscape style with a certain theatricality, including all the riches of the world in the “scenery”. A distinctive feature is the labyrinth – a must-have for a garden in this style. The use of Chinese sculptures, terracing, water cascades is also characteristic..
For small summer cottages and houses in the village, the rustic style is the best fit. It is very simple to arrange it. It is enough to remember what the great-grandfather’s courtyard looked like or look for pictures of the village life of the past or the century before last. The main thing is to preserve the integrity of the idea – if this is a Russian village, then you should not stray into Ukrainian or Baltic accents and vice versa. The style is universal in that it perfectly allows you to beat a real vegetable garden with vegetables, a fruitful garden, and outbuildings. A log hut with carved platbands, a working well in the courtyard, a wattle fence with clay pots, bright benches, winding paths paved with cobblestones. Such popular garden sculptures of animals – frogs, hedgehogs, storks – will be appropriate here. The flowerbeds are bright and variegated with plants traditional for your area. The arrangement of a rustic-style garden can be budgetary, because you can use a lot of worn-out things – an old cart or wheelbarrow for a flower bed, wicker baskets for flowerpots, old boards for arranging a fence or gate.
A new but rapidly gaining popularity trend in landscape design. The concept is to minimize intrusion into nature. The more natural features of the site can be preserved and beaten, the more stylish such a garden will be..
Ideally, this should be a pristine corner of the ecosystem characteristic of the area. It is almost impossible to achieve 100% ecological compatibility of the garden. Most often, an ecological garden is understood as a stylized natural landscape. Eco-style garden can be arranged on a plot of any size. It does not require special costs and maintenance, since natural materials and wild plants are used. Although timely watering, fertilizing, mowing, cleaning the reservoir and other garden work should be done regularly. The “desolation” of the ecological garden is deceiving.
One of the varieties of eco-style is the so-called forest style, in which the site is a continuation of the forest. It is a traditionally Russian style, long and successfully arranged in summer cottages, especially in the first half of the 20th century.
Ethnic style gardens
The arrangement of such gardens implies serious human intervention in the existing ecosystem. Indeed, for the organization of landscape design in Japanese, Chinese, Oriental, Dutch, Moorish, Muslim, Alpine, Italian style, plants are planted that grow in these countries, and for their growth and flowering, a certain soil composition and special watering are required. Some of the above gardens are very difficult to arrange on your own, and the services of a professional gardener may be required to care for them..
If you really want to have one of the above gardens in the Central Russian strip, then you should be ready for a serious struggle with nature, which will still try to take its own. But the arrangement of such gardens is quite feasible. The main condition is to carefully study the features of each style and ethnic group, this will help to correctly place accents. And also competently approach the choice of plants, consult what exactly will grow in your area, understand the rules for caring for them.
The result of a properly designed ethnic style garden is sure to be spectacular. The same recommendations apply to tropical garden design..
Fantasy, Gothic, Medieval gardens
A great way for fans of this trend in literature and cinema to create their own story. Most suitable for wetlands.
Strictly speaking, this is not a style, but a mixture of styles. Everything should be subordinated to only one idea – romantic. Most often, not the entire site is decorated in a romantic style, but only part of its zones. For example, a romantic gazebo entwined with flowers or a secret dating grotto. Forged openwork lattices, fragrant flowers, sculptures depicting lovers. Specially arranged lighting plays an important role.
Contemporary style preferred by young people. The house is made of modern materials in laconic forms. The main concept is convenience and minimalism. Nothing superfluous, a lot of light and space. This is a kind of garden studio. Sculptural compositions, garden furniture, supports for plants of unusual “space” structures made of modern materials (aluminum, plastic and glass are required). Not many plants are planted, they should be easy to care for and match the style. A reservoir, and this is most often a pool or concreted streams and canals, may have original forms.
It makes sense to arrange on areas located on the slopes, since its concept is to reproduce the mountain landscape. The process of its device is quite time consuming..
The article provides a general overview of the styles and directions existing in landscape design. In the next articles of the cycle, we will dwell on each of them in more detail. What preparatory work needs to be done, what plants to use, what elements will help maintain the site in the chosen style? Answers to these and many other questions will be given in the first article on the French (regular) style..