Classic garden ideas

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  • Most of us, when we loosely describe a garden as “classic”, have in mind something that is manicured, clipped, controlled, tidy. If pushed to name specific elements we expect to find in such a garden, we would all probably list topiary, fountains and pools, statuary and pots, pergolas, expanses of lawn and stone and, when pushed further still, we would imagine these elements arranged in a formal, generally symmetrical way. All of these can in fact be traced, in one way or another, back to ancient Roman gardens, and our use of them today is only the latest in a long line of interpreting a look that could be more correctly described as Classical.

    Parterres are a typical element of this garden design style, and many impressive examples were created during the Renaissance, a heyday for Classical gardens throughout Europe. The stunning boxwood parterre seen here, part of the gardens at Restoration House in Kent, was in fact planted in the 1990s.

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