Formal gardens originated in the Renaissance, most famously the gardens at the Chateaux of Versailles commissioned by King Louis XIV and designed by André le Nôtre. Formal gardens give a sense of order and control over the landscape. They are laid out in a symmetrical pattern along one central axis and can be made up of lawns, pools, hedges, and very simple garden beds with limited color palettes. Topiary, statues, and fountains may be featured in regular patterns. Intricate spiraling patterns may be created within each section with tightly clipped hedges.
This garden style can be made to feel more casual with the use of weathered hardscaping materials and wilder inner plantings of the garden blocks. It can be made a bit more modern with more intricate patterns and a tiny bit more color.
Do you have a favorite formal garden? Tell us below!