We have several garden beds at our home which are unstructured and have a natural feel, but I am interested in designing a little 'more formal, but not stodgy' garden that will be next to a patio we are building.
|Our 'Bird Garden' with Buckminster & The General|
I stumbled across the concept of a quilt garden - a popular attraction of Indiana's Amish country Heritage Trail. I love the symmetry of the flowers and bright colors in these beautiful gardens. As I was looking for inspiration, I decided to capture a few of my favorites in a blog post to share. I also delved into some other symmetrical styles, the knot and parterre garden, which I've also included.
|Heritage Trail Quilt Garden (image via Visit Indiana)|
|Heritage Trail Quilt Garden (image via Travel Indiana)|
|Menno-Hof Quilt Garden in Fall (image via My Amish Indiana)|
|Elkhart County 4-H Quilt Garden (image via Hoosier Gardener)|
|Petunia Quilt Garden (image via Amish Country)|
I also remembered some beautiful gardens we have visited in the past which also featured organized plots of color. As I began looking back in time, the concept of sectional gardens has been around for centuries. In 27 BC, Vitruvius, a Roman author and designer, included concepts for garden spaces to be both functional, practical and pleasing to the eye. In the early-mid 16th century, compartimens or knot gardens were planted showcasing shaped herbs in interlacing designs interspersed with sand or flowers.
|A Victorian Knot Garden (image via Helmingham Hall)|
|Contemporary Knot Garden (image via The Garden Club of America)|
|Contemporary Knot Garden (image via The Oregonian)|
|Bamsley House Knot Garden (image via Albert Winkler)|
|Victorian Knot Garden (image via Willowbrook Park)|
|Herb Knot Garden (image via Kevin McManus)|
|Circle Knot Garden (image via Proven Winners)|
|Chateau du Lude Knot Garden (image via French Gardens)|
The parterre was developed by Claude Mollet in the late 16th century taking compartimens to a new level by utilizing other types of plants and creating more intricate patterns at French chateaus including Fontainebleau and Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Since that time, parterres have fallen in and out of fashion. Parterres are designed with pathways between sections of gardens which pool plants together in distinct plots.
|A Victorian Parterre (Image via Helmingham Hall)|
|A Victorian Parterre (image via Design Ties)|
|Modern Parterre by Jarrod Baumann (image via MB Maher)|
|Vegetable Parterre (image via Home Life Australia)|
|French Parterre with Lavender (image via Cheap Floors)|
|Domaine de Villarcreaux (image via The Garden Wanderer)|
|Modern Parterre Garden (image via Schmechtig Landscapes)|
With all of these beautiful ideas of and inspired by traditional garden styles, I'm definitely inspired to start poring through gardening catalogs to choose plants and begin laying out a plan for our 'more formal, but not stodgy' garden. But first, I'm ready for a tall glass of sweet tea and a retreat to the back porch for a break!