Frame a house or garden with a double hedge, using a waist-high evergreen at the rear, edged with a lower skirt of English box.
• Seek out classically shaped garden ornaments to enhance a formal design – think urns, tiered fountains and timber dovecotes.
• Plant a framework of evergreen shrub species, to create permanent garden structure (consider conifers and buxus for cool climates, and murraya and lilly pillies for warmer coastal zones).
• Keep your materials list simple and elegant – palecoloured stone, pavers and gravel, and weathered timber for vegetable beds. Paint wooden features, like pergolas and benches, in cream or soft white.
• Soften the symmetrical structure of a formal garden with relaxed flower plantings. Think climbers like wisteria, blousy shrubs like hydrangeas and old-fashioned perennials like agapanthus and Japanese anemones.