Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Country Chic -

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.

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