University of Florida

Formal Gardens

Formal gardens have highly structured and geometric design plans, drawing their inspiration from classic gardens in Europe.

They often feature symmetrical layouts of identical planting beds along an axis. Tightly manicured shrubs clipped as low hedges, large privacy screens, and topiaries are typical plant forms.

Brick or gravel paths help define the space and lead the visitor from one garden room to the next, while artfully placed fountains or sculpture help draw the eye through the garden.

One way to give your garden a formal look is to choose plant materials reminiscent of formal gardens, like a well-manicured podocarpus hedge or a slender Italian cypress tree.

So if you crave more tradition and order, try designing your landscape as a formal garden.

UF/IFAS Publications

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