Formal Residential Garden Design
Another way to achieve a formal appearance is to repeat identical planting beds, color schemes or sculpture along an axis. Repeating a plant in a grouping or as a hedge, or using the same plant throughout a garden also are common design techniques used to achieve a formal look. All these have a rich history. The ancient Egyptians and the Romans used these techniques to create formal residential gardens, and they were popular during the Renaissance in Europe.
Plant selection also is important because some plants such as linden and ornamental pear have a uniform appearance that naturally support a formal look. Plants with a uniform appearance also require less maintenance such as shearing and trimming. Evergreen plants such as spruce or white fir also have a consistent appearance that can create a dramatic, formal image.
Selection of other materials in a garden also can support either a more formal or casual appearance. In general, using stone or block as opposed to wood for walls or fencing create formality. Likewise, using patios instead of decks creates a more stately appearance.
Adapted from an article
Paintings by Pio Carlone