There are five essential elements you need to create the perfect English country garden.
Garden design is about making sense of your outside space, and when it comes to an English country garden, it's by creating 'rooms', forming pathways and enclosing your spaces. If you have a good-sized garden you can make several lawn-filled 'rooms', lay paths between them and enclose them with walls of hedges.
1. Shape up
When it comes to lawn designs, a rectangular lawn is more authentically country and less urban than a circular design. Try to get a few rectangles of different sizes into your plot.
2. Plan your beds
Make sure there's enough room around the lawn for generous flowerbeds. The bigger the lawn, the deeper the planting needs to be. Ideally there'll be enough room for three tiers of planting from tall at the back, to low at the front. And for that you need the border to be at least two metres deep.
3. Make walkways
For an English country garden, add walkways between your lawns. They can be laid with gravel, paving, or brick and should be wide enough for two people to walk comfortably along side-by-side. Spanning a pathway you could add a garden arch covered with climbing plants – roses always look wonderful grown on arches.
4. Create a view
Think about what you'll see from the lawn and walkway. Try to include a feature to provide a focal point – otherwise known as a 'view-stopper'. It could be a sculpture, a seat, fountain or simple water feature.
5. Plant a wall
Hedges are an integral part of an English country garden. They form the walls of the new 'rooms' you're making. Plant them behind the borders and alongside the walkways to separate each lawn and path. And where a hedge crosses a walkway, create an arch that you could also use to form a frame for the 'view-stopper'.
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