When planning a formal garden, it’s good to know what style suits both you and your landscape. You may have heard terms like English, Japanese, and Cottage gardens, but what do those terms really mean?



An English garden features architectural touches, like fountains and statuary. You’ll also find in many traditional English gardens, (called landscape gardens in the UK), little grottoes made of shrubbery with benches to hide away in for an hour or two with a good book. Winding paths join grotto to bird bath to statuary. This romantic style works well in larger yards and features more greenery than flowering plants.


A Japanese garden will typically have some sort of water feature as its focal point, typically a small pond or flowing stream. It will attempt to mimic the style of house or building it’s attached to a bit more than an English garden typically will. While a Japanese garden will feature stone work and paths like the English garden, you’ll see more flowering bushes and shrubs, like dogwood or cherry.

Cottage Garden

A Cottage garden will be much more dense and focus more on flowering and fruit plants than stonework or water features. It tends to layer fruit trees, climbing plants, and flowers, roses being a typical choice for this style.

While these three are typical styles, there are many others out there to explore. Get creative, do an internet search and jot down styles you like, or pick and choose elements from a few that you imagine would work well together. Then call use at Algiere’s, we can sit down with you and work out a plan that fits both your aesthetic and your square footage!