Floral opulence with a penchant for nostalgia: this is how you realize the dream of an enchanted garden in a romantic style.
- Where does the romantic garden style come from?
- Garden design: classic features of a romantic garden
- Plants and flowers for the romantic garden
Where does the romantic garden style come from?
In the 18th century, when the English landscape gardens had their heyday, a new garden style emerged: the romantic garden. It combines elements of both the natural garden and the formal garden with its clear structure. Typical representatives of romantic gardens are, for example, the densely planted cottage gardens and early cottage gardens of England.
While baroque and very geometrically designed gardens were already a tradition in England before the middle of the 18th century, the romantic garden with its subtly overgrown charm set new impulses. The return to nature, which was revived in art and culture at that time, also flowed into its aesthetics: lush flowers, loving details in the design of garden paths and hedges as well as playful seating areas with a penchant for mystery are typical features of a romantic garden.
Garden design: classic features of a romantic garden
From the right colour palette of flowers to the playful use of shapes and water: here come the most important design elements for a romantic garden.
Subtle colouring in delicate pastel shades One of the most important criteria for a romantic garden is the right colour palette of the plants: pastel shades such as lilac, delicate pink, apricot or creamy white form the basis for the flower and perennial beds and exude peace and sensuality. Harmonious shades of blue and a few, well-chosen accents in strong colors can be combined with this. Tip: Choose small-flowered plants in pastel shades and spread them in large numbers on your beds, while planting large flowers in bold accent colors sparingly.
Whether it’s a cheerfully rippling (spring) fountain or a calmly gurgling stream: small and large water worlds are welcome elements of a romantic garden. They provide dynamism and at the same time give peace and reflection. That’s why a quiet pond with a shiny surface, large water lilies and whirring dragonflies is a skilful eye-catcher in your romantic garden. The closer it is to nature, the more enchanted and stimulating it is to us. Lined with rushing water grasses and a hidden seating area, it is the perfect retreat.
Playing with natural and soft shapes
The romantic garden thrives on flowing, natural forms and individually staged decorative elements. Therefore, avoid right angles or symmetrical arrangements. Irregularity is welcome here: Structure your beds with partly taller, partly lower perennials to create an arrangement that arouses interest through its play of light and shadow. Lushly overgrown arches or arcades, curved garden paths that lead into secrecy as well as small natural stone walls and hedges for separate areas also give this garden style character and invite you to stroll and discover. Tip: An ivy-covered patio creates a smooth transition from indoors to outdoors, enhancing the overall look of your garden.
For more garden magic: playful and mysterious details
A skilfully staged garden with romantic aesthetics plays not only with light and shadow, but also with the irresistible charm of the hidden. On the one hand, this refers to intimate seating niches that are shielded from the outside world, but also hidden corners with surprising design elements. Use a green privacy screen, a nostalgic-looking willow fence or a high hedge to gradually provide insights into your garden. This stimulates the imagination and arouses curiosity. Curved, gracefully landscaped garden paths made of old cobblestones create a “Sleeping Beauty atmosphere” by inviting you to discover and at the same time make smaller areas look more spacious. Arouse curiosity through a playful arch with climbing roses that hides the garden area behind it and create new perspectives and visual references in different corners in the form of seating niches or selected decorations.
Special finds and moss-covered sculptures or stones give the romantic garden something mysterious, while wrought-iron garden furniture, aviaries with patina, delicate trellises in historical style or an old garden gate provide nostalgic flair. The more the decoration merges with the garden, the better. Of course, the right lighting should not be missing: lanterns, lanterns and fairy lights create atmospheric cosiness in seating areas and on vantage points.
What good is the most beautiful garden if it doesn’t offer a place to linger? In a romantic garden, retreats in the form of benches, pavilions, pergolas, pleasure houses or garden sheds are not only very popular, but obligatory to relax in the midst of the splendour of the flowers. Create small seating niches that are only discovered at second glance through magnificent greenery (e.g. lilac bushes, shrub roses). Or let nostalgic pergolas, gazebos or arbors be covered with clematis, wisteria, wild vine, climbing roses or ivy. Wrought-iron round arches are beautiful companions for your little oasis of well-being. Tip: Create a garden for all the senses and consciously include smells and sounds in your design. For example, with the help of fragrant flowers near the seat, a bird bath or a babbling stream in the immediate vicinity.
Plants and flowers for the romantic garden
Opulent flowers for nostalgic garden romance: With these plants and perennials, you will quickly indulge.
Mix of tall and low-growing plants
What seems so random and playful is planned from scratch. In England, “mixed border” is the name given to a perennial planting with height staggering and a well-thought-out concept that you can use for your design. Instead of stringing together many stiff perennials (e.g. delphinium, lupine), it is worthwhile to cleverly use half-height gap fillers with filigree stems or grasses:
- Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
- Cranesbill (Geranium)
- Columbine (Aquilegia)
- Low-growing flame flower (e.g. Phlox divaricata)
- Jewelry basket (Cosmos bipinnatus)
- Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)
- Spider flowers (Cleome spinosa)
Small-flowered flowers not only look very romantic, but are also a welcome change in perennial beds without distracting from roses or flower giants such as bearded irises. In addition to catnip, columbine, cranesbill and gypsophila, the following are also suitable:
- Thistle (Eryngium)
- Rue (Artemisia)
- Blue rue (Perovskia)
- Woolly civet (Stachys byzantina)
Evergreen and climbing plants, ornamental foliage and climbing plants
underline the lush flower pile in a romantic garden. Its noble but unobtrusive green leaves accentuate the delicate flower colors in their surroundings and make them shine even more in full splendour.
- Funkia (Hosta)
- Thistle (Eryngium)
- Ivy (Hedera helix)
- Purple bell (Heuchera)
- Wild wine (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
- Upholstery silver rue (Artemisa schmidtiana ‘Nana’)
Flowering climbing plants are also a nice addition to arches and overgrown pergolas:
- Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis)
- Clematis (Clematis)
- Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris)
Perennials with lush flowering It should be
large-flowered and lush, the splendour of flowers in the romantic garden. Among other things, the following are suitable for this purpose:
- Hydrangeas (Hydrangea)
- Azaleas (Azalea)
- Rhododendrons (Rhododendron)
Shrubs, hedges and shrubs Whether as privacy screens or playful details – hedges
and shrubs can be used in a variety of ways for garden design. Cut them into sweeping shapes to match the romantic theme of the garden even better:
- small ornamental apple (e.g. ‘Golden Hornet’)
- Kolkwitzia (Kolkwitzia amabilis)
- Snowball (viburnum)
- Yew (Taxus)
- Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)
- Laurel (Laurus nobilis)
- Bergilex (Ilex crenata)
Fragrant herbs and flowers A garden that appeals to all the senses is the closest thing to the romantic ideal. Fragrant herbs and filigree flowers are particularly suitable for this purpose, such as:
- Sage (Salvia)
- Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus)
- Roses (Pink)
- Thyme (thymus)
- Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
- Lilies (Lilium)
Roses – the supreme discipline in the romantic garden Elegant, delicately scented and the epitome of love and romance: the rose is the heart of romantic garden
design. Historical roses or English roses are particularly tempting for this style with their abundance of flowers, as are old shrub rose varieties and climbing roses. Tip: If you want to garden close to nature, make sure to plant simply flowering roses such as the pink flowering ‘Lawinia’.