Understanding Garden Styles 

In design terms style refers to the way we show our ideas and organise materials, colours, plants and furniture to create a design which can make sense and be appreciated.  Some styles go out of fashion rapidly others stand the test of time.

In classically inspired formal design – order, continuity, repetition and symmetry are used to create visual and spatial balance. Even those this goes back ages the same principles still apply in modern gardens.

In the Modernist approach the design is more relaxed and informal. Many modern designers have adapted the Modernist odeas to achieve stylish, clean, and crisp gardens. 

The idea of a working garden  has been a reoccurring idea through history with the emphasis being on supplying food for the table. The difficulty is combining functionality with aesthetics. Other functional space for the modern family includes leisure, sport, relaxing spaces, etc.

As the population increases the space for gardens is under increasing pressure. Just as form and function of the gardens is changing so are new styles being created. The conceptualist garden style celebrates the man made, creating dramatic and often thought provoking gardens that can be humorous or whimsical, philosophical and profound, short lived or permanent  (definitions courtesy of Encyclopedia of Garden design). The opposite of this is fusionism which embraces a wide range of stylistic influences and combines them in exciting new compositions.

As styles and references merge so new designs ideas and possibilities arise. New links with architecture and art are taking place which allows garden design to be considered a dynamic and socially relevant discipline. 

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