The highly ornate clipped box pattern is a classic element of the European formal garden.  This one was installed in the 1920's at  Blenheim Palace , Woodstock, UK.

The highly ornate clipped box pattern is a classic element of the European formal garden.  This one was installed in the 1920's at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, UK.

The French formal garden style continues the Italian renaissance themes of order, symmetry, axes.  This garden represents man's domination over nature.  Look for longer axes that exaggerate perspective, extensively clipped hedges, and ornate water features.  This style works well in small spaces where clipping allows one to maintain plants at a reasonable size, an axis can highlight an entrance, and the repetition is soothing.  This style is referred to as "French" because of the number of famous French landscape designers and writers.  The style was popular across Europe and its colonies in the 1600-1700's.  This style's rigidity set the stage for a revolution in garden design called the picturesque movement.

Check out the posts below for other examples of gardens inspired by the French formal style.

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