World’s formal gardens
The Morville hours : [the story of a garden]
Katherine Swift.
New York : Walker & Co., 2009.
  1. Subtitle from jacket.
  2. First published: London : Bloomsbury, 2008.
  3. Includes bibliographical reference (p. [343]-350) and index.
New classic gardens
Jill Billington.
Gloucester, Mass. : Rockport Publishers, Inc., c2000.
Gardeners will enjoy the diversity of ideas in this resource on incorporating elements of formal design into any garden.
The garden visitor's companion
Louisa Jones.
London : Thames & Hudson, 2009.
For many, visiting gardens both large and small, public and private, is one of the pleasures of modern travel. The most urban New Yorker, Berliner, or Parisian will not miss the gardens of Kyoto or Souchow, Florence or Charleston, when on vacation. Louisa Jones explores ten types of gardens, and for each she proposes ten questions that the visitor might ask, along with suggestions of things to look for and think about.

The formal gardens of ancient Greece and Rome inspired many of the famous European gardens of later centuries. The beauty of these gardens lay in their dedication to proportion, balance, and symmetry. Well-tended plantings, perfectly clipped topiary, and water pools beckoned to visitors. Straight paths leading to a dominant feature -- a fountain, statuary, or memorable view -- played a prominent role in the garden plan.

The tradition, and popularity, of the formal garden continues.

Today the gardens of Imperial Rome are in ruins while the gardens at Versailles, Tuscany, London, and other parts of Europe are thousands of miles away. That doesn’t stop US travelers from planning vacations to leisurely explore the grandeur and art of the world’s formal gardens. Off the beaten path, yet less than a day from Heidelberg, are the palace and formal gardens at Schwetzingen Germany. The palace built in the 1300s now has over 180 acres of formal gardens open to the public. New Zealand’s Ohinetahi gardens are a haven for visitors wanting to enjoy formal design in open spaces.

Designing a Formal Garden

Use native plants
Choose a theme according to climate
Create a center of attention such as a fountain

More tips

Make a visit to one of the world’s beautiful formal gardens part of your next itinerary. Don’t be surprised to find yourself sharing the paths with fellow travelers.  An unexpected encounter with artists who brought their palettes to capture the garden’s beauty in all lights and weather conditions will be a trip highlight. Or, be ready to meet the home gardener from halfway around the globe. He’ll be taking pictures to design the formal garden he’s planning back home.

The world’s formal gardens provide travelers with unforgettable moments and memories.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff