10 Garden Designs That Will Inspire You

Last Updated on May 13, 2024 by SampleBoard

Garden styles are as diverse as the individuals who tend to them.

Gardens are the canvases of the outdoors, where nature and creativity unite to craft serene environments and personal retreats.

Understanding different garden design styles can help shape your outdoor space to reflect your personality and lifestyle.

From formal French gardens with symmetrically pruned shrubs and ornate fountains to wild English cottage gardens overflowing with blooms and whimsical garden art, the possible styles you can choose for your outdoor space are endless.

However, when selecting a style, it's important to consider both the look you want to achieve and the practical considerations of your area.

If you live in a dry climate, for example, a Mediterranean-style garden may be better suited than a lush tropical paradise.

Or if you enjoy spending time outdoors entertaining guests, a Japanese-inspired garden with its serene water features and secluded sitting areas might be just what you need.

Ultimately, whatever style speaks to your soul is right for you.

Whether that means embracing minimalism with sleek geometric shapes or filling every inch of space with colorful flowers and foliage - let your imagination run wild!

After all, this is about creating an outdoor sanctuary that feels like home.

Types of Garden Design Styles

Formal Garden Style

Inspired by the grandeur of European estates, Formal Garden Styles are all about symmetry and order. They feature geometric shapes, neatly trimmed hedges, and well-manicured lawns.

Think of the pristinely arranged gardens of Versailles, where every element is meticulously planned and maintained.

Informal Garden Style

Loosen up with the Informal Garden Style, where naturalness and relaxed curves take the stage.

This style mimics the spontaneous feel of nature, with curved flowerbeds, meandering pathways, and a mixture of plant varieties. It's akin to a dance with nature rather than a structured march.

Cottage Garden Style

Cottage gardens exude a charming, somewhat whimsical vibe, warm, inviting, and brimming with a mix of flowers, herbs, and edible plants.

Traditional materials like wood and stone and meandering paths that invite exploration are prevalent.

This style prioritizes biodiversity and a "full" look, with plants often spilling over walkways and fences.

Cottage garden styles are reminiscent of storybook illustrations, overflowing with charm and bursting with a variety of flowers and herbs.

They're dense with plants, feature vintage accessories, and have an air of whimsical disorder. Each nook tells its own story.

Japanese Garden Style

Inspired by Japanese philosophy, Zen gardens are designed for contemplation and meditation.

Key elements include rocks, water features, moss, and pruned trees and bushes, with every component meticulously placed to promote a sense of calm and balance.

Balance and tranquility define Japanese Garden Styles, which cultivate peace and reflection.

They incorporate water elements, rocks, moss, and arching bridges, evoking the essence of nature through minimalist yet profound designs.

Mediterranean Garden Style

The Mediterranean Garden style is a style that thrives in dry climates. Its hallmarks are potted plants, citrus trees, and aromatic herbs surrounded by terracotta or stone pathways.

Picture yourself in a Tuscan villa, where the outdoors is a natural extension of the home. 

A Mediterranean-Style Garden is a true delight for anyone who loves nature's beauty and craves an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Lush greenery, vivid colors, fragrant herbs, and charming terraces combine to create a peaceful oasis that transports visitors to the sun-kissed shores of the Mediterranean.

This style incorporates elements such as paved paths, decorative tiles, water features like fountains or pools, and statues or sculptures in stone or bronze depicting classic Greek figures.

With its warm ambiance and serene atmosphere, this garden is perfect for relaxation after a long day at work or simply enjoying with family and friends on weekends.

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Image credit: homestolove.com.au

The unique blend of native plants such as lavender, rosemary, and succulents, along with olive trees, makes this garden stand out from other typical garden designs.

It's easy to see why so many people are drawn to the allure of Mediterranean-style gardens; they offer visual appeal and mental rejuvenation that can profoundly affect one's well-being over time.

Tropical Garden Style

Tropical Garden Styles's lush, exotic allure brings a vivid riot of colors, oversized leaves, and dramatic flowers to life. Hummingbirds and butterflies wouldn't look out of place in this personal paradise.

Xeriscape Garden Style

Sustainable and water-wise, Xeriscape Garden Styles responds to the environment with hearty, drought-tolerant plants designed to reduce irrigation needs.

Focused on environmental stewardship, these gardens use native plants that are well-adapted to the local climate, reducing water usage and attracting local wildlife.

To minimize ecological impact, sustainable gardens also incorporate eco-friendly practices like composting and rainwater harvesting.

They demonstrate that low-water-use landscapes can be vibrant and full of life.

Contemporary Garden Style

With sleek lines, bold architectural plants, and striking materials, Contemporary Garden Styles meld the modern with the natural.

These gardens feature clean lines, minimal plant varieties, and a focused color palette to create a serene and orderly space.

Hard landscaping and geometric shapes are dominant, often complemented by sleek water features and strategic lighting for dramatic effect.

They often incorporate outdoor art and are defined by their simplicity and clean aesthetics.

The Contemporary Garden is a stunning display of modern landscaping techniques that seamlessly blend urban and natural elements to create a tranquil outdoor oasis.

This garden design emphasizes clean lines, minimalism, and functional spaces that cater to the needs of today's busy lifestyle.

Strong geometric shapes, bold colors, and innovative materials such as metal and glass add a touch of sophistication while maintaining an organic feel.

Every element in this contemporary garden has been thoughtfully curated to provide visual interest without overwhelming the senses or detracting from the beauty of nature itself.

Whether looking for a quiet retreat or an impressive backdrop for entertaining guests, the Contemporary Garden will leave you feeling refreshed, energized, and connected to the world.

Concept board created by Rosena on SampleBoard.com

The French Garden Style

The French Garden is an enchanting oasis of tranquility and beauty. Every inch of this meticulously crafted garden exudes elegance, grace, and sophistication.

From the perfectly trimmed hedges that line the pathways to the whimsical fountains in the center, every element has been carefully chosen to create an atmosphere of pure magic.

The vibrant colors of blooming flowers dance harmoniously with fragrant herbs, creating a symphony for your senses.

As you stroll through this haven of natural wonder, you can't help but feel transported to another place and time - one where life moved at a slower pace and beauty was revered above all else.

The French Garden captures the essence of its namesake country - romantic, charming, and captivating.

A classy garden masterpiece can be created using classic French furniture, classic-style urns, and other accessories.

Use gentle, soft whites, creams, beige, and grey to create a sense of peace.

The essence of this style of garden is the tranquility achieved by using white and cream flowers with gentle green foliage.

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Also, a garden can easily be brought up to date by adding some quirky garden furniture. Bold colors and contemporary styles can make an ordinary garden space unexpected, extraordinary, and fun.

The great thing about using furniture to update a landscape is that it can easily be changed and updated repeatedly.

If you often like to change the interior spaces that flow into your garden space this could be a great option.

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English Cottage Garden

English cottage gardens are truly a sight to behold. They are the epitome of natural beauty, with their enchanting mix of vibrant colors and fragrant scents.

The quintessentially British style is characterized by an abundance of flowers, herbs, and vegetables grown together in a seemingly disorganized yet perfectly harmonious manner.

The charm lies in its informality - no rigid structure or specific arrangement must be followed.

Instead, English cottage gardens exude a sense of wildness and whimsy that seems to transport you back to simpler days when life moved slowly.

It's as though nature has taken over and created something uniquely stunning for all who have the pleasure of witnessing it.

Whether strolling through one or simply admiring from afar, English cottage gardens will leave you feeling inspired and rejuvenated - like anything is possible if we embrace our beauty.

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Tips for Choosing a Garden Design Style

When exploring garden design styles for your outdoor space, consider key factors to ensure your garden looks stunning and complements your lifestyle and home.

Here are some trend-focused tips to guide your decision:

Reflect on Your Lifestyle: Your garden should be a natural extension of your home and lifestyle. For those who love entertaining outdoors, incorporating spacious patios or outdoor kitchens into your design might be ideal. If you're seeking a tranquil retreat, a Zen or woodland garden might be more your pace.

Take Cues from Your Home's Architecture: Look at the lines, textures, and colors of your home's exterior. Choosing a garden style that harmonizes with your home's architecture creates a seamless transition between indoors and out. For example, a modern home might pair well with a Minimalist or Contemporary garden design.

Consider Maintenance: Be realistic about the time and resources you invest in your garden. Formal gardens might require more regular upkeep, while Cottage or Native gardens can offer a more low-maintenance, laissez-faire approach.

Keep an Eye on Trends: Staying informed about the latest garden trends can provide fresh inspiration and ideas. However, choose trends that resonate with your taste and can endure beyond a season. Sustainable gardening practices, native plantings, and outdoor wellness spaces are in vogue and offer lasting benefits.

Tips for Implementing Garden Design Styles

When venturing into garden design, blending your unique taste with the characteristics of each style creates a space that truly feels like home.

Here are some tips to guide you in implementing your chosen garden design styles:

Start Small: Experiment with different styles in a small garden area. This approach allows adjustments and learning what works best for your space without becoming overwhelmed.

Consider the Climate: Always factor in your local climate and choose plants that will thrive in your environment. Adapting the design to suit local conditions ensures sustainability and decreases maintenance efforts.

Use Repetition Wisely: Repetition can be a powerful design tool, creating rhythm and unity. However, balance it with variety to avoid a monotonous appearance. For example, repeating a specific color or shape throughout the garden can tie different areas together.

Create Focal Points: Every garden style benefits from having focal points, such as a sculpture, water feature, or a stunning plant specimen. These elements draw the eye and move the viewer through the garden space.

Mix Textures and Heights: Incorporate a variety of textures and heights to add depth and interest. This approach can make even the most miniature garden feel more dynamic and spacious.

Stay Flexible: Trends evolve, and so might your preferences. Allow your garden room to grow and change. An adaptable design makes it easier to update individual elements without a complete overhaul.


Considering these factors, you'll be better equipped to select a garden design style that enhances your home's aesthetics, suits your lifestyle, and brings you endless enjoyment.

Garden designs offer myriad benefits, enhancing both the aesthetic appeal and functionality of outdoor spaces.

A well-planned garden design beautifies the surroundings and creates a harmonious environment that promotes relaxation and rejuvenation.

Garden designs can increase property value, promote biodiversity, and provide therapeutic benefits by connecting individuals with nature.

Whether it's creating serene pathways, vibrant floral arrangements, or sustainable ecosystems, landscape design in Greenville, SC, fosters a sense of pride and joy in homeowners while contributing to the overall charm of the community.

From cozy and intimate spaces for entertaining friends and family to larger, more lavish gardens that will bring your dreams to life, there's something here for everyone.

No matter what kind of garden design you choose, the most important thing is that it reflects your personal style and brings joy into your life.

So don't be afraid to get creative with it!

Author: Rosena MacFadzean for SampleBoard.com – concept creation online