Style Guide – Romantic Gardens Part 1

from The Weatherstaff PlantingPlanner – intelligent garden design software

Romantic Garden – who wouldn’t want one? Can you picture it in your mind’s eye? You will probably be wearing something from the 18th century and inhaling the intoxicating scent of roses. The garden will be delightful not just to look at, but also to smell, hear, touch, perhaps even taste.

Rosa Cardinal de Richlieu - romantic garden
Rosa Cardinal de Richlieu

So what does the garden actually look like? Romantic gardens are more ordered than the haphazard jostling of a cottage garden.

Features of a romantic garden
Topiary and an elegant fountain in a romantic garden.

They may be formal – think Lady Someone’s Walk in the grounds of a stately home – or more relaxed. In fact, they could be a mixture of both. Neatly trimmed box hedges and topiary balls combined with billowing drifts of flowering shrubs and fragrant perennials.


Stone lamp
A stone lamp for added interest in a romantic garden

Features include statues or garden sculptures to admire and linger near. A bench is essential for relaxing moments amongst the scented flowers.

Garden borders creating symmetry
Matching borders and a winding path

There will probably be elements of symmetry, such as borders mirroring each other either side of a path. Here, the same plants are used in both borders, but without strict symmetry. The winding path also creates a less formal look.

Tall metallic water feature
Contemporary water feature

A water feature is perfect for a romantic garden. Listen to the murmuring of a fountain or watch sunlight playing on water.

Clematis on iron arch
A soft purple clematis scrambles over an archway

Of course, there needs to be a hidden part, too, for secret trysts and whispered conversations. It could be a path leading away from the main garden, obscured by high planting. Or a secluded, flower-strewn bower – an archway, arbour or a pergola, draped with perfumed climbers.


Garden furniture in pale colours
Garden furniture in relaxed muted colours

Colours will be soft and serene. Furniture and paintwork will be chalky greys, smoky greens and grey-blues. Or plaster, rose and lavender – the colours of castle stone walls at sunset.

Dark highlight plant
Verbascum, delphinium and iris, with dark acer to contrast

Flowers are in pastel shades, blush and peach and soft apricot. But don’t forget to highlight with splashes of a more intense colour. Deepest red or dark purple black add a frisson of romance and daring.

Flowers in a white border
White tulips

You could have a white border too or a collection of containers with a white focus.


Garden lighting
Candles for soft lighting at night

There’s nothing more romantic than watching the sun set, followed by an alfresco meal. You’ll need a sheltered spot and a collection of candles or solar powered lights so that you can keep enjoying the garden well into the night.

Romantic Gardens Part 1 - from Weatherstaff garden design software
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The Weatherstaff Team