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Traditional Design Sheets

Use these design sheets to get color, décor, materials, plant and fabric recommendations for each of the five types of traditional garden.

Colonial Landscape Design (PDF)
Cape Cod Landscape Design (PDF)
Townhouse Landscape Design (PDF)
English Landscape Design (PDF)
Craftsman Landscape Design (PDF)

View all Landscape Design Style Guides

Imagine yourself transported to 17th century France and strolling down the garden paths at Versailles. Traditional gardens like this one were originally all about appearance. Kings and Queens wanted to display their wealth and power to their subjects as well as leaders of other countries. Such gardens were filled with statues, elaborate fountains and highly manicured plants.

Today, the idea of a traditional garden, while inspired by the aesthetic of centuries past, is a bit more functional. Modern versions of traditional gardens often include cutting gardens or areas for growing edibles. They may also include outdoor living elements such as a fireplace or built-in barbecue. Common materials used in traditional landscaping are brick, stone, pavers and wood. The overarching goals of a traditional garden design are to create a well-defined and beautiful outdoor space.

A Traditional Knot Garden

Some of the most recognizable traits of traditional landscape design are the use of geometric shapes, the creation of symmetry and the inclusion of repeated patterns. A knot garden is a prime example of all three of these traits. This type of garden consists of boxwood shrubs groomed into a design that resembles an ancient Celtic knot. A knot garden is best when viewed from above, so consider placing it where it can be viewed from a balcony or second story window.

Fun in the Traditional Garden

If you have kids a maze garden can be a lot of fun. While not a knot garden, a maze garden is similar because it consists of groomed evergreens grown in a pattern. The evergreens are kept tall and narrow so that they create a confusing pathway that winds around and around and sometimes even leads to dead ends. Maze gardens are commonly found on palace grounds throughout Europe.

Another fun addition for a traditional garden is an oversized chess board. Like mazes, these are often found in European palace gardens. An oversized chess board can be made using two colors of large concrete pavers and allowing grass or a ground cover to grow in between. There are companies who carve giant chess pieces specifically for outdoor use.

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