Everyone has a different idea about the best approach to garden landscaping. Canadians and North Americans may consider colonial layout the “classical” gardening landscape. Old-world types may prefer the use of Greco-Roman styles and statuary as the centerpiece in their gardening landscape. Others will consider the charm and elegance from the well-known gardens in Tuscany to be the standard classical gardening landscape.
Even with largely differing opinions, and they are just opinions, few gardeners argue against the traditional formal rose garden as The Classical gardening landscape. Kings and queens of old Europe, and their aristocratic hangers-on, much preferred the formal rose garden for their romantic dalliances and high teas. The rose garden has long been a favorite spot for relaxing, entertaining, and soaking up the sensual fragrances of this most popular flower.
A truly classic formal rose garden should be completely symmetrical, each side mirroring the other, with plenty of lawn areas separating the well laid-out beds. Garden beds should follow classic lines and curves, even creating an image or design. Surrounding the garden with neatly trimmed evergreen hedges is a wonderful way to frame the classic rose gardening landscape. A bluestone patio adorns one end of the rose garden, balanced by a reflecting pool set within more bluestone at the opposite end. Evenly-spaced stepping stones or an elegant stone path connects the two ends and provides a way for visitors to enjoy the garden without trampling the neatly trimmed lawn.
For many gardening landscape enthusiasts, the classic sundial is the perfect centerpiece or focal point to the garden, although an elegant foundain or birdbath might also add the desired effect. Your focal point should be circled by a small hedge and stepping stones or stony path so that visitors can take their time and enjoy this point of interest as they take in the wonderful sights and fragrances surrounding them.
Other smaller pathways radiate out from the focal point to lawn areas with benches and lawn chairs or trellises and pergolas providing support for lovely flowering vines and shade for lingering to read or meditate in this peaceful environment. These additions are placed so that stone paths or stepping stones form a large cross that divides the garden into even quarters. Benches aside the reflecting pool are accompanied by rose planters, and more planters of roses lend decoration to the patio at the other end. The patio is framed by trellises and flowering vines on either side.
On the sides of the classic garden are three oval-trimmed trees, complimented at their base by beds of blooming flowers. In the early spring, these flowers add color to the garden while the young roses blossom. In the fall, the blooms compliment the fading roses and maintain interest in the classic gardening landscape. Evergreens line the back of the classical gardening landscape, and each corner is highlighted by a neatly-trimmed evergreen to give visual balance.
The classical gardening landscape’s hallmark is its sense of order, peace, and comfort. Accented by cobbled paths, its lines are strong and symmetrical, their impact softened by the delicate rose blooms and vined overhead arbors. You’ll find many examples of classical gardening landscape at historic locations like the Biltmore in North Carolina or other Vanderbilt estates in New York and New Jersey. Hartford, Connecticut, boasts a world-famous rose garden at Elizabeth Park. Of course, America’s White House hosts a world-famous rose garden as well. Fort Worth’s Botanic Garden in Texas is proud of its lower and oval rose gardens, exhibiting all the elements of classic gardening landscape.
European rose gardens display true classic gardening landscape. Castle Howard and Mottisfont Abbey in England are well worth the time if you’re visiting Great Britain. The Roseraie de Bagatelle in Paris houses over 9000 plants of over 1000 varieties. The Roseraie de la Cour de Commer in Normandy, France, contains over 40 unique roses that exist nowhere else in the world. The Roseto Botanico di Cavriglia “Carla Fineschi” near the town of Cavriglia in Tuscany, Italy, contains representatives of each of the subgenera, sections, and classes of the genus Rosa.