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Formal Gardens. When a garden is planned on formal lines it has an orderly, symmetrical appearance. Many large gardens of mansions and large estates in Europe are of this type. In the formal arrangement there is a main axis, such as a path or grass walk, bordered by flower-beds, or perhaps a path covered with a long trellis on which hardy climbing plants grow.
From this main axis secondary ones develop as outgrowths on either side, and these too subdivide, each divided portion being much the same size as its adjoining one. Large formal gardens, balanced in their elaborate design, can be attractive but, perhaps because of their costly construction and maintenance, are rarely seen. Many of them are over-ornate, and this does not appeal to modern taste.
Informal Gardens The informal arrangement is less elaborate and symmetrical in design. Its beauty comes from the grouping of the components, and the plants are arranged so that they blend with each other. The flower-beds and borders are less regular in shape, and both dwarf and tall plants and shrubs are found growing in harmony.
Gardens are now planned so that the plants bring out the beauty of the houses and buildings, each plant contributing its share towards an attractive whole.