Classical & Traditional Garden Design in London
From cottage gardens with soft edges to formal gardens with beds & borders
Traditional Garden Design in London
Although there is no true definition of a ‘Classical’ or ‘Traditional’ garden there are some common features of design that are often used. Flower beds and borders, hedges and lawns are all common features in a traditional garden design. Planting is often far more diverse than in contemporary or modern garden design.
Traditional gardens can be subdivided into many categories such as romantic, formal, cottage, French or Mediterranean.
Some traditional gardens are formal in style and use strong symmetry in the layout of paths, borders and beds. Other traditional or classical styles such at Cottage gardens, have more informality and often use very little symmetry in the layout.
What are the characteristics and features of Traditional or Classical Garden Design:
It is not easy to set out standard characteristics of a traditional style of garden as this is really an umbrella phrase that covers everything from formal English, French or Italian styles, to relaxed cottage, woodland or wild gardens. However some of the common characteristics might be:
Emphasis on plants and planting
Use of the natural features of the landscape such as trees, slopes, ponds and hedges
Frequent use of ornamental features, such as elaborate pots, planters and sculpture
A strong feeling of symmetry in formal styles of garden
Strong use of traditional materials such as brick and natural stone
A tendency to have softer, more blurred edges
Features such as lawns, planted beds and borders and shrubberies.
What style of property does a traditional garden design best work with?
The design of a traditional garden is often dictated by the style of the property to which it is attached, city or town house, rural cottage or grand country property.
If a property is in a conservation area the garden design may need to comply with local planning regulations and need planning permission. Often the garden design will need to use materials and finishes which are in keeping with the period of the property.
What are the advantages of traditional gardens over contemporary gardens?
One of the considerations you may want to make when deciding on the design of your garden will be the pros and cons of certain specific styles.
The advantages of garden designs in a traditional style:
A traditional style can be very fluid and adaptable and can accommodate many features and challenges found in your garden. It may be that the site is a difficult shape, sloping, long, narrow, short or triangular. It could be that the garden is damp and shaded, exposed and windy or has fixed features that can’t be changed such as ponds, walls and steps. A traditional garden style can adapt to many restrictions or challenges.
Adaptable to changing needs: As the occupants of the property grow, age and have changing needs, so the garden can be changed. Traditional gardens can allow many adaptations without the need for substantial landscaping changes.
Ageing and maturing: Trees, shrubs and hedges are living structures that grow and change over the years. A well-planned traditional garden will allow for such natural changes.
The disadvantages of traditional style garden designs:
Although very adaptable, traditional garden designs can have some drawbacks.
Maintenance and care: herbaceous perennials, shrubs, lawns and trees all need care and attention. If they are left, they can become overgrown, wild and unruly or simply deteriorate and die.
Time & money: Either you or a gardener will need to spend time maintaining the garden which will require an investment in time or money.
However, in reality, a well-planned traditional garden will take into account all of your needs and restrictions and be a wonderful space to relax and enjoy.
Would you like to discuss designing a traditional garden for you home?
Classic & Traditional garden designs completed for clients.
St Johns Wood Traditional Garden
This garden redesign in St Johns Wood complements the new glass extension to the property, whilst also being sympathetic to this listed town house. Set over several levels, the garden uses crisp, pale porcelain paving, combined with a more traditional clay brick. The planting scheme includes tree ferns and hydrangea in the shadier areas with olive trees, scented evergreen jasmine and climbing roses in the sunnier beds.
Traditional Garden Design Crouch End
Following an architect’s redesign of their house and garden in Crouch End, North London, our clients asked us to advise on the renovation of the remaining planting. Working with a palette of white and pink flowering plants, we added luscious hydrangeas, palms and beautiful David Austin roses to create planting which is both elegant and exotic.
Classic Garden Design Hampstead London
We were asked to design the garden of this beautiful Grade II listed building, which had become rather overgrown. Our scheme is sympathetic to the traditional style of the house and incorporates several existing mature plants such as camellia and a spectacular fig tree. We added topiary to give evergreen structure and under planted with perennials and spring flowering bulbs to create interest throughout the year.
Hampstead Garden Suburb Traditional Garden
We designed this traditionally styled garden to accompany an elegant town house in the Hampstead Garden Suburb. Wide brick steps lead down to a patio entertaining area, strategically positioned to catch the most sun. The garden combines space for play with ample planting beds. These are filled with hydrangea, roses, lavender and wisteria combined with pretty perennials in blues, whites and pinks for interest throughout the year.
Traditional Family Garden Design London
This garden redesign was part of the major refurbishment of this beautiful Mill Hill house. Our clients wanted their garden to be a large entertaining space, combined with a family friendly scheme. Our large, curved patio terrace uses brick which complements the traditional style of the property. The porcelain paving is low maintenance and mirrors the contemporary internal styling.
Small Family Garden Design London
Architects working on this small family garden in Hampstead Garden Suburb property brought us in to redesign this established garden. We created a new terrace to complement the extension to the property and reshaped lawns and borders to open the garden up. Our garden design planting scheme utilises many of the mature existing shrubs and is designed to give year round interest and colour.
Large Family Garden Design Golders Green
Our clients wanted to redesign their garden to create a safe, interesting place for their young children, combined with a relaxing space for the adults. Making use of the existing ground levels, we designed a raised area at the back of the garden, home to an outdoor blackboard, sandpit and log stepping stones. The deck, carefully sited in the sunniest spot in the garden, gives mum and dad a relaxing seating area.
Traditional Courtyard Garden Design London
This sheltered London courtyard garden had great potential but was overlooked and lacked colour. We installed bespoke squared trellis screens to give added privacy, which were complemented by classical wooden planters in a matching colour. We then created a soft, pretty planting scheme which combines blue and white flowering plants with structural shrubs to give colour and interest throughout the year.
Garden Redesign after House Renovation
The back garden of this grade II listed home needed to be sympathetically redesigned, in order to respect the character of the property, whilst updating for the 21st century. We created new patio entertaining areas using buff sandstone paving combined with traditional clay bricks. Mature specimen plants in the existing garden, including a stunning Wisteria, were carefully retained and new planting added to create interest around the year.
Hampstead Town House Garden
We redesigned this multi-level garden in order to make better use of the space for our clients. The extended patio dining area and kitchen blend with traditional style of their home, whilst having a contemporary edge. Frameless glass balustrades surrounding the terrace give an unbroken view to draw the family down to the mid terrace seating are, where they can enjoy cosy winter evenings around the central fire table.
Belsize Park Walled Garden
This delightful walled garden in Belsize Park is generously proportioned and includes areas for both the adults to entertain and for the family children to play. Our planting design includes hellebores and banks of hydrangea in the shadier areas of the garden. The sunnier beds are planted with lavender, purple verbena and geranium, mixed with low grasses to create gentle movement and interest.
What clients say about their experience and their new garden
We had a number of meetings with Sarah to discuss ideas and she interpreted what we wanted beautifully. The companies she recommended to carry out the actual building work according to her plans were excellent. Then began the job of choosing the plant layout which, again, Sarah interpreted beautifully. Everything was planted in September 2016 and now, summer 2017, we are reaping the rewards of a mature, easy to maintain, lovely garden, both back and front. Highly recommended.
I am writing this is my study overlooking my wonderful new garden. From the first meeting to the final work, I could not have been happier. Sarah created a garden for us that 18 months on looks brilliant, even at this time of year. The end result is that we have a garden and new patio that we can enjoy and one that our grandchildren can also play in. Thank you Sarah.
Jonathan, Hampstead Garden Suburb
Sarah has given me the most beautiful garden. She listened to my ideas and stretched them even further. I could never have got here without her. Her landscaping was inspired and her planting has provided me with a year round delight. I would thoroughly recommend her.
Lizzie, London N8
Sarah of Hampstead Garden Design was a delight to work with, she designed a wonderful patio, front driveway and garden planting scheme for us. Sarah understood our brief completely and we are delighted with the finished results. We consider our garden to be another room in our house and are deriving so much pleasure from it. We would definitely recommend Hampstead Garden Design.
Michelle, Mill Hill
We moved in 2014 to a house with smaller and very unattractive gardens, front and back. We didn’t want to wait for years of our own trial and error improving them. A friend recommended Sarah and using her to design and plant our new gardens has been a real pleasure. She listened to our wants and dislikes, surveyed the new gardens carefully to take account of changes of level, supplied plans we could understand, noted our responses to her proposals, adapted them to what we wanted and oversaw the complete and imaginative redesign and planting of the new gardens.
The whole planting scheme was attractive and interesting and within our budget. Even in the first summer (2015) the result was just what we wanted and we’re confident it will get better and better as the gardens mature. We thought her fees were reasonable and she stuck to the figure she had quoted – no hidden surprises. Her communications with us were first rate.
Thank you Sarah!
Robert and Lynette, North Finchley
We were recommended to Sarah by our architect and found her excellent in every way. It was great to have the garden designed so beautifully and it has greatly enhanced our home. All went very smoothly and it was a pleasure to deal with her.
David and Helen, Hampstead Garden Suburb
From the outset, Sarah was a great listener and transferred my vision to a set of plans that my builders found easy to follow. She worked hard to source products that matched my requirements and always went the extra mile to deliver an excellent and cost effective service. Sarah was a pleasure to work with and I am happy to recommend her work.
Amanda, Golders Green
Sarah understood exactly how I wanted to transform my garden and the result is beautiful and easy to maintain. She is very efficient and extremely pleasant to work with.