10 basic elements of an English garden
The appearance of the traditional English garden with all its pastorality and harmony for many remains today not only a source of inspiration, but also a model of excellence. Explain the magic of the English style of landscape design simply by climate or temperament is impossible. A unique sense of proportion, the ability to bring nobility to even the simplest flower beds, the art of using contrasts not for vivid images, but for coziness and atmosphere, a model English garden has always been distinguished by a special attitude to the balance of functionality and aesthetics. And today his canons remain unshakable and unique. But not so secret that the English design could not be recreated at home.
In any style of landscape design, there are those elements without which the garden project will not succeed. The canons, or basic design principles that determine the nature of the garden, are easily recognizable and inimitable, and even the most daring designers do not violate even modern interpretations. Indeed, the style of the traditional British garden is distinguished by the same stiffness that the English interiors have become famous for. True, catching individual elements in this style is not so simple: the atmosphere and sensations in the English garden are sometimes more important than specific means of expressing the plan. Let's try to outline 10 basic elements that lie at the heart of the English garden.
Strict frames for a colorful show
The English garden is, above all, a garden with a well-thought-out structure. Its main purpose is to create a walking zone, such a landscape and a series of objects that you want to walk endlessly and want to admire, against which not only the body, but also the soul can relax. The “set” of obligatory zones and objects in such a garden is limited. And it is limited by a fairly strict list of generally accepted techniques that “push off” from home. A large lawn or lawn, a front garden, a gazebo or a pavilion, a fruit or fruit garden with a decorative garden, a pond - these are the objects that are present in a traditional English garden. Zones are separated by neatly trimmed green hedges or stone walls. Highlighting the main objects, such a garden creates a completely defined framework. And on the remaining territory, a game unfolds with picturesque ensembles, turned into an ideal park for walks, in which striking harmony reigns.
The space between the structural elements is divided into walking areas and framed with the help of flower beds and flower beds, interconnected by lawn, paved paths or soft paths that appeal to gravel porches. Flower beds are most often represented by series of flowerbed repeating in shape, framed by strict boxwood frames that create a simplified colorful maze. But landscape and colorful rabatka always dominate in the English garden - one-sided and two-sided mixborders. Wide, restrained and so romantic, they are the hallmark of the English garden.
Classic and romance squared
When the English style is ranked among the landscape trends of landscape design, they are usually slightly cunning. After all, the English garden really brings the canons of park art closer to nature and its beauties, but it does it regally and so pretentiously that it is difficult to call such a garden an example of naturalness. In the English garden, in addition to those very strict lawns, trimmed fences and architectural elements, it is true that the whole space is filled with free, landscape plantings. But they imitate not quite wild nature, such as in the Dutch garden or in the style of the prairies, but a pastoral fairy-tale picture, a kind of idyll of blooming nature in all its splendor. Modest, almost wild plants and thickets, as if the gardener's hand had not touched them - not for the English garden. Everything should be perfectly colorful here. Even the contrast between the leaves of ferns and the catchment in the shade or lavender and cuffs on a sunny discount. This is a landscape luxury, which is not a sin to send to a postcard or a poster of any exhibition. Therefore, keep in mind: the English garden should produce just such an impression - aristocracy, which, having gone beyond strict boundaries, has not lost its chosenness.
A similar approach - a flashy, idealized choice - should also be used in the selection of plants. Classics from classics - that's what you need in the English garden. If shrubs, then roses or boxwoods, if trees - then catalps, maples or decorative apple trees. And from perennial partners, attention should be paid to the untouchable, selected favorites - lavender, catnip, veronica, delphiniums, geyhera, geraniums. Why, even among the bulbs in the English garden, only classics are welcomed - tulips, daffodils, muscari. Exemplary, with an impeccable reputation, such plants have retained the status of fashionable for more than one century. And not at all boring. They should be recognizable at first sight, have a vivid personality - texture, color, size, nature of growth. Nondescript and little-known plants are not suitable for this style: aristocratic plants are also needed for the style of aristocrats.
In the English garden, green always and everywhere dominates. But not in the old hedges and dull yew walls, but above all in the lawns. Without them, it is impossible to imagine a single project in this classic style. Carpets fill the space and balance the lush, romantic, colorful and such textural flower beds and flowers, serve as a “field”, a canvas on which the pastoral of the colorful garden unfolds. Without this background, the charm and harmony of design will be lost forever. If you want to create an English garden, then do not be afraid to use lawns. Create large, strict lawns from them, arrange ponds with them, “bind” flower beds, form walking zones. In a word, create a green background, perfect for enjoying magnificent perennials. And remember that the lawn can be called not only platforms, but also magnificent grass paths.
Individual approach to plants
Despite the fact that the English garden is distinguished by that special balance, in which it is impossible to distinguish the main stars in the design, the basis of its success is precisely in the personal approach to each plant and respect for the need to study their features, character and preferences. There are no plants more or less important in any flower garden or rabatka in this style. Here everything radiates harmony and self-sufficiency, even tiny accents will get the attention they need. After all, any subtle art, including the art of garden design, is built primarily on deep knowledge.
And if you plan to recreate the charm of the English garden in your area, then first of all show your respect for the plants used. And rely not on instinct, but on a scientific approach and training. Do not save time: study all the nuances of growing, all the features of specific species. Build schedules, make catalogs, create entire "cases" for your flower beds and discounts. This is a fascinating process that will bring no less pleasure than contemplation of your result. So you can always check the information, easily adjust the ensembles, if such a need arises, you will always know what to do in unforeseen circumstances. Even the cultures you know may surprise you, but their character and features of agricultural technology are worth exploring in detail.
Harmony in the English garden reigns not only in structure or materials, but also in color. The ability to achieve balance and then “make” the garden not to lose it at any time of the year is truly unique. At the same time, the principles of constructing the English color scheme are so simple that they seem obvious and almost boring. But only in theory: in practice, achieving color harmony is much more difficult.
When you look at the panoramas of British gardens - and the famous cottage, park, and palace - you can not resist comparing with the paintings of the best classical landscape painters. And it is precisely the skillfully selected colors that the artist seemed to mix, that is the main secret of the English garden. Neither a boring, nor restrained, nor a contrasting or pastel palette is characteristic of him. Only gardens become English, where shades and overflows merge into a single picturesque picture. And where the contrast is based on the game of pure watercolor tones and colors with the undoubtedly dominant calm green, for every too bright color there is a calming counterweight, for every light shade there is a deeper and more saturated tone. And you need to focus on the most advantageously combined shades of not one color, but neighboring colors in the color wheel. So, pink is mixed with lilac, yellow with orange, blue with violet - different colors, but they, nevertheless, are especially harmonious and related in nature. When choosing plants for the English garden, choose the most traditional and pure tones - if pink, then candy or saturated, purple - perfect lilac, purple - cold and sparkling, blue - gentle and dreamy, and yellow - fruity and “juicy”. In a word, choose classic and even old-fashioned colors. The purity of design in the English garden is embodied by the purity of colors.
Not a relay race of flowering, but a relay race of images
In the English garden, one should strive not to create the effect of a continuously ongoing flow show, but seasonality. You must have happened to admire photographs of estates and cottages, which in spring seem to be surrounded by meadows of daffodils, and in summer they are decorated with royal roses that dominate the design. The main goal is to change the appearance of the garden from season to season, like the seasonal transformation of interiors. For spring, summer and autumn, they select a combination of the cultures most dear to the heart, which together create the perfect ensemble. Several plants become the main stars of the season, and with the change of season another group blossoms without repeating either the nature or the color palette of the first. Thus, in English gardens they do not create the effect of permanence, but emphasize respect for nature and its metamorphoses. Yes, and thanks to this technique it’s never boring: the garden changes images, remaining perfect in English, but always different.
Queen for the retinue of aristocrats
The plant without which the English garden does not work is the magnificent queen of garden shrubs, the rose. It is no coincidence that it is called a garden aristocrat; it is a rose that perfectly demonstrates the beauty of plants typical of the English garden in both the palace and cottage formats. Of course, in the English style it is worth using English roses ˜ - magnificent Austin with their old-fashioned romance, modern stamina and strong aroma.
Shrubby and climbing roses should be added to the look of the English garden. Miniature beauties will create magnificent borders, modern varietal rose hips - flowering hedges, ground cover roses will fill the space and create the effect of fabulous cascades on flower beds and in discounts. Creepers on arches and pergolas will replenish the number of vertical accents and become a regal luxurious backdrop for benches and arbors. As for the classic shrub roses, floribundas, tea hybrids and other beautiful women, they will become the main soloists on flower beds and discounts. And with something, and with roses in the English style, you can not be afraid to go too far: there are not many roses in the English garden. And it is roses - the real queens of the English garden - that will perfectly reveal the beauty of plants, selected according to the principle of aristocracy.
Scrupulous height selection
Lush flower ensembles that fill the framework of the strict structure of the English garden, produce not only the impression of seasonality, pastorality, pastelness, but also an unprecedented splendor. All flowering plantings in such a garden should look like flawless, filled with dozens of plants, but at the same time - not too complicated. Lush landscape thickets of flowering beauties are created thanks to the skillful combination of plants in height. So that under the plants it was not visible free soil, they should complement each other and hide imperfections. The main principle of creating flower beds and garden flowers in the English garden is a strict increase in height from the foreground to the back in one-sided objects and from side to center in two-sided mixborders. Do not think that such a strict selection will be boring: plant textures and the difference in density of crowns and sods completely compensate for the insufficiently interesting vertical structure.
Even breaking the rules, in the English garden, it is worth adhering to the canons. The only option that allows you to deviate from the principle from low to high is the placement of high accents among stunted partners or soloists who stand out sharply from the environment. Such cultures can be called “living sculptures”: they really, like a statue on the lawn, rise against a luxurious background and add even more classical motifs to the composition. A sheared boxwood ball or a yew pyramid, a standard rose seem to soar above the compositions and place architectural accents in them.
Not a garden, not a museum
Another element, without which it is impossible to imagine a single English garden, is a skillful selection of accessories. For garden ensembles they are selected with no less taste and thoroughness than for the English interior. Each piece of jewelry should become a true work of art and an important detail that emphasizes and sets the mood.
You can not do in the English style without garden sculpture - a classic and somewhat old-fashioned. A simple statue immersed in a flower garden with roses, a small fountain or a stone feeding trough indicating the intersection between the flower beds, skillfully arranging the curve of the path or drawing attention to the far corner of the garden - each sample of a large and small garden sculpture should be placed so as to crown the ensemble and give him a new, aesthetic perfection. Do not neglect the accessories in the form of properly arranged lighting, skillfully hidden benches, funny characters, animals or household items that have received a new life - for example, an old broken service or a teapot. They can become small touches that fill the garden with English charm. The main thing is not to overdo it and place them in the most visible place.
English Garden - a landscape surrounded by love. This style is for those who enjoy even the most ordinary procedures, who have the time and desire to cut roses and mow lawns. And the more regular care and love they put into such a garden, the more beautiful it becomes. Indeed, a project combining such a number of trimmed objects and flowering plants will have to be looked after constantly. And the English garden cannot be attributed to the "for the lazy" styles. True, the correct choice of plants and their species will help to simplify life, but you should not forget about timely care anyway. Neither beautiful lawn grounds, nor flower beds in boxwood frames, nor inimitable “visiting” workouts will look advantageous for years on their own. Even one neglected plant, from which wilted inflorescences were not removed or forgot to remove dry shoots, will spoil the whole picture. And there can be no question of weeds or an uncut hedge ... So leaving is the most important element of any English garden.