Formal Garden

Garden design should always be done to scale by a professional with a sound understanding of geometry and experience in hardscape plans. This is because so many plantings are installed around horizontal surfaces areas such as patios and pools, and because vegetation in general seems to go hand in hand with the decorative aspects of custom fountains and outdoor buildings. A good working knowledge of plant science helps as well—although a formal degree in botany is not required. What is required is an understanding on the part of the residential landscaper that true garden design calls for a great deal more than colorful flowers to add experience and value to Houston outdoor living.
This is due to the simple fact that, without exception, greenery is the foundational color to every style of garden design. A professionally installed planting will feature multiple shades of green arranged in layers. This prevents the form from looking flat and two dimensional and helps it stand out more prominently on the landscape proper. A number of plant species are used to create this range of green hue, including hedges, special grasses, ground cover plants, and even small trees.
Once a foundation of varied greenery is laid, color is then introduced in two ways. Annual color is established with certain ground species with colored leaves. Plants such as begonias, impatiens, salvias, pansies, petunias, and cyclamen add depth and variety when intermingled with grasses, shrubs, and clipped hedges. Next, seasonal colors are introduced through flowering plants. White is something of a foundational color that is common to all garden design styles. The amount of white present depends on the style chosen, as does the degree to which other colors are added as well.
The style of the garden, as well as its size, determines its location in the yard. Larger plantings almost always occupy a centrist position either in the middle of the yard or in the middle of an entire quadrant of the yard. Such styles include traditional parterre gardens (though not necessarily their derivatives), French gardens, Japanese water gardens, and English gardens.

Other garden designs work better as linear support elements. We install them alongside of homes, architectural walls, fences, and custom walkways. Italian and Mediterranean styles are two of the more popular types that typically adorn the exteriors of homes. Contemporary and modern gardens are also used extensively to add a touch of the organic to residential architecture, although these types also can be used anywhere in a contemporary landscape or courtyard due to the highly eclectic and abstract nature of modern landscaping design.
Still other garden designs are deliberately removed from the surrounding landscape in order to create the feeling of a separate realm of experience. This is often done for residents who entertain a great deal at home, but who also want to create their own private space just for themselves as a couple. These areas are typically dedicated to reading, meditation, or quiet conversation in a quiet corner of the yard. Zen gardens and water gardens are very popular in these places because they contribute to the sense of Being that residents are looking to experience when they go to their own special place in the back yard.
Other areas where gardens may be liberally planted at will include outdoor rooms, hide spaces, tree houses, and garden overlooks that are separate from the home. Many of these garden designs are not based on any particular cultural theme or aesthetic form, but are rather the custom creation of the landscape designer. Again, this is where a good working knowledge of geometry comes into play. Custom gardens around places like private patios and morning fountains are based on correlative forms that work to extrapolate architectural keynotes into open space, transforming them into organic sense in the process.
The choice of a specific garden design is always based on relationship. When we say relationship we mean reflection and counterpoint to corresponding landscape elements whose significance and size constitute the essence of the landscaping theme. The home is the most preeminent of these, occupying a central position on the property and functioning as an emblematic symbol of lifestyle and resident character. Trees are also very important elements to factor into a landscape master plan because they literally form the pillars of the landscape. Gardens planted in proper relationship to trees help balance the vertical and horizontal perspectives of the yard and create an aesthetic of multidimensional organic vibrancy.
Whenever water features of any kind are developed on a property, garden design should also intentionally compliment them. Swimming pools, natural ponds, ornamental waterfalls, and custom water fountains all benefit tremendously by the addition of a garden to their outlying boundaries. After all, water and vegetation occur side by side in virtually every environment in the world. Cultivating an innately natural relationship with deliberate planning and design techniques helps magnify the presence of life and vitality that Exterior Worlds works to create for each and every client.
In addition to magnifying the living elements of the landscape, vegetation and flowers help magnify hardscapes as well. Hardscapes can cover up to 70 percent of the surface area in a yard, so they represent a grouping of elements that demand attention for the sake of aesthetic magnification. Most hardscapes are either stone or concrete and basically horizontal in form. However, iron and wood structures—such as trellises, arbors, and fences—are also technically classified as arbors. Vegetation is needed around each of these forms in order to create a sense of unity between the natural and the manmade.
In the case of wood and stone, vegetation is also reminiscent of corresponding relationships between plants, rocks, and trees in the natural world. In the case of concrete and iron work, vegetation softens the appearance of what may otherwise look like a harsh protuberance in an otherwise pristine scene. Additionally, some hardscapes like walkways and driveways can even be given a sense of movement by garden design. Plantings along the sides of these surfaces can be used to signify traffic patterns for both pedestrians and vehicles. This is particularly beneficial along any surface traveled at night, where landscape lighting illuminates garden elements as living signposts pointing the way to the many points of interest found throughout the landscape.
There is also an unseen, but equally important, aspect to garden design, and that is irrigation and drainage. Although Houston enjoys a very humid climate, rains are very sporadic and not to be depended on for the watering of plants. A professionally designed and automated irrigation system has to be built in the yard in order to ensure the viability of organic forms. This system must be both workable and concealed, because the visible presence of pipes and sprinklers will quickly diminish the aesthetic.
A concealed drainage system is also needed to remove the excess water produced by irrigation pipes, and to protect the yard from flooding during those times when it does rain. Although Houston has a very effective storm sewer system that does a good job of draining flood waters remarkably quickly (considering our near-sea level elevation and absolutely flat terrain), getting the water out of the garden and into the storm sewer to begin with is another matter. Again, only professionals trained in advanced landscape architecture methods can create such a system without giving away its presence to the naked eye.
For more the 20 years Exterior Worlds has specialized in servicing many of Houston's fine neighborhoods.

English Formal Garden

Its purpose of an English formal garden is to create a scene that offers the viewer an idealized portrait of Nature. This style originated in England during the 18th Century, where panoramic paintings of sweeping landscapes with groves of trees, rolling lawns, tranquil lakes, and pastoral vistas inspired a garden design that sought to recreate these elements in microcosm. Clearly recognizable geometry helps define the aesthetic of an English formal

French Formal Garden

The French formal garden was, and still is, intended to inspire a sense of awe and wonder in the visitor in much the same manner as the façade of a grand, elite chateau would produce in the viewer. Its carefully sculpted and tightly controlled vegetation becomes a form of organic architecture, and its tight, linear control of all plant life emphasizes man’s complete dominance of nature. The French

Formal Garden Ideas

Formal garden ideas vary extensively from culture to culture and are in many ways derivative of specific periods of history as well. However, all share a common humanism that seeks to place man at the pinnacle of nature, the master of the planet if you will. As such, symmetry and geometry form the foundational elements of all formal garden styles, regardless of type or size. Geometry is typically based upon

Formal Italian Garden

The intent of a formal Italian garden is to settle the mind of the viewer and create a feeling of ease, contentment, and peace. Historically, gardens were planted Italy to be an extension of the home itself, and in many cases, a veritable outside room connected to the house. Today, not all Italian gardens are actually installed adjacent to the home, but all are built with a view of the

Formal Gardening

Formal gardening is distinguished from other garden design styles by the sense that nature has been tamed for the purposes of serving the quality of human living. Order and symmetry are heavily emphasized through repeating patterns and mirrored elements. Regardless of the historical or cultural origin of a particular garden design, any formal style will share this intention and have certain clearly recognizable features in common with other styles. Examples

Formal Garden Plants

The spacing of formal garden plants is vital to the success of all formal designs. Carefully spaced rows are often arranged in varying heights to promote the idea of order and symmetry. Rows also help support the idea of linearity which is used in many formal garden designs, such as the French and the Italian. Plants closest to the center tend to be taller, with the largest formal gardens sometimes

Formal Garden Plans

Formal garden plans are always drafted with relationships in mind. Geometry and scale pay tribute to the architecture of the home and introduce powerful thematic overtones that affect the development of the entire surrounding landscape. Key features of formal design include central paths (and in some styles, bisecting paths) that allow visitors to walk through the garden, central focal points, seating in or near the garden, and external vantage points

Small Formal Garden

One of the beauties of small formal gardens is the versatility of their placement. They can be placed anywhere in a yard, and they are by no means limited to small properties. In fact, very large yards that otherwise appear overwhelming to the eye can be subdivided into zones of interest by planting small custom gardens in strategic areas. Small formal gardens are arranged around symmetrical designs and geometric shapes

Formal Flower Garden

A formal flower garden is distinguished from a regular flower bed or decorative garden by two important characteristics. The first of these is deliberate patterning. By deliberate patterning, we mean the creation of immediately recognizable geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles, spirals, semi-circles, and circles. The second key element is functional division. By this we mean some sort of dividing axis runs through the garden center. This axis can be

How Boxwood Shrubs can be used to Build Custom Gardens

There are 70 species of the genus Buxus that are collectively known as boxwoods. Some are very small, growing only inches tall. Others, such as the American boxwood, can reach heights of up to ten feet. Most of the smaller boxwood shrubs typically have a very dense texture composed of very small, tight foliage, which makes them ideal for formal garden design. What many people do not consciously realize, however, is