4 stunning and inspirational perennial garden designs

perennial garden design

The images in this post were created by AI. I asked the AI image creator to imagine some ideas for perennial garden designs.

As with a previous post on modern perennial garden designs, I asked for some designs inspired by Piet Oudolf, the Dutch designer famed for his naturalistic planting style. This style accentuates organic, free-flowing planting that mimics the irregular patterns and rhythms of nature.

There are some hints of this style in the designs in the images below, especially the extensive use of grasses. But, the reality is that these design are more like traditional mixed borders than naturalistic planting.

Nevertheless, I still think that these are attractive looking gardens that exemplify some design principles that we can copy in our own gardens.

I’ve called out some of the key principles in relation to each design below.

Perennial garden 1

There is a softness and calmness to this garden. The curving features mean that there are no jarring angles and hard lines.

Key features of the design above are:

  • plentiful use of grasses, to create a soft and flowing effect,
  • a muted purple colour scheme,
  • taller grasses providing the contrast to the lower mounds of planting, and
  • effective use of trees through: the 3 repeating specimens facing the house, the incorporation of the mature trees on site, and the ‘borrowing’ of the trees in the more distant landscape by keeping teh garden boundaries low and open.

Perennial garden 2

Key design features of this garden appear to be:

  • A full border of soft, swaying grasses perpendicular to the house,
  • A contrasting border at right angles to the grasses border of low clipped mounds of shrubs and grasses,
  • Geometric shapes picking up the straight lines of the house: for example, the the thin straight standard trees in the foreground, the straight raised hedge at the boundary, and the repeating pattern of shrubs in front of the hedge.
  • Deep borders and a relatively limited, proportional lawn area.

Perennial garden design 3

This design contrasts nicely with the designs above. The planting is fuller and more varied. Here are the key points that come up for me:

  • Curving border shapes create interest and lack of formality,
  • the winding lawn paths lead you around the garden, drawing you in to visit all the ‘hidden’ parts,
  • Varied and informal planting of different heights at the boundaries, blurs those boundaries so there is a sense of mystery about where the garden begins and ends.
  • Planting close to the house seems to envelope the house in the garden, and will create lovely views from the house and, with the right plants, scents wafting into the house.

Perennial garden design 4

This garden uses perennials in more traditional cottage style planting. These are the key features that strike me:

  • A muted colour pallet of blues, purples and silvers creates a relaxing picture,
  • The sharpe edged borders give a sense of journey and movement to the grass ‘path’. You get the feeling this path is leading to, or from, somewhere important,
  • low level planting in front of the house that ensures that the views from the glass walls of the house are expansive,
  • Effective and unobtrusive use of hard landscaping around the house and in front of the boundary hedge.
Love Dahlias?I've written the book on them

Check out my comprehensive step by step guide, with plain language explanations and ultra-useful images and illustrations. This is for you if you love dahlias and want to the best out of the dahlias you grow.

Join Us! Subscribe to the Gardening Step by Step NewsletterSign up below to receive the latest gardening tips and updates*

*by entering your details, you're agreeing to the gardeningstepbystep.com terms and conditions and privacy policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Comment