Formal Garden Design Elements to Make Your Yard Feel High-End

A formal garden design can give your home a refined, high-end feel. There are certain elements that are always present in formal gardens such as clean, symmetrical lines, 90* angles, framed centerpieces, and a straight pathway that acts as a focal point leading to the home. If you want to enjoy the peaceful luxuriousness of a formal garden in your own backyard call Living Trees & Shrubs at (713) 464-8733. Our landscape design company provides professional gardening services in Katy & Fulshear, Texas. After consulting with you about the features and look you want our landscape designers will craft design blueprints for you to review. You can also send us a message online to request an appointment and quote.

Common Formal Garden Features

  • Boxwood hedges
  • Bluestone Tiles
  • Granite Tiles
  • Waterfall Feature
  • Axial intersecting elements
  • Geometric shaped shrubs
  • Parallel patterned plants and bushes
  • Round focal points
  • Pleaching
  • Borders and Edging
  • Defined Shapes
  • Symmetrical Curves
  • Flowers and colorful ground cover plants like hydrangeas, lavender, Salvia, and rosemary

Boxwood & Evergreen Shrubs

Box hedges are a common type of shrub used in formal gardens. Box hedges can be shaped into square, rectangular, or spheres using the topiary pruning method.


Pleaching is a tree training method gardeners use to encourage tree shaping by encouraging them to get tangled together with thick foliage so that they appear to be an opaque surface from the outside. The pleaching method is used to densify foliage on taller bushes and small trees. Pleaching is a great way to shape trees around the perimeter of your fence for privacy landscaping. Pleaching is also a great way to make an archway of foliage, tunnels, mazes, and arbors. The linear, polished appearance of trees shrubs that have been shaped this way screams sophistication and luxury.

Borders & Edging

English garden style is another name for a formally designed garden. Formal landscape designs include defined borders, usually constructed of dense hedges that have been shaped into rectangles or boxes using the topiary and pleaching method together. The borders separating different landscaping layers are also well defined and typically are made using materials like brick, pavers, or natural stone tiles. Taller pleached trees can also be used as either a focal point or outside border of your landscaping.


Flowers are a good element to use either in a focal element or in a rotating or mirrored pattern. If you want to keep it as traditionally formal as possible choose white flowering plants. If you would rather add some color for visual interest some of the most popular flower varieties and ground cover plants are hydrangeas, lilies, tulips, roses, rosemary, and salvia.

Schedule a Formal Garden Design Consultation

Contact Living Trees & Shrubs to schedule a consultation with our designers. We will come out to your home or property and after looking at the space and dimensions we’re working with recommend plants and shrubs that can be used in the initial design blueprints.