Garden Design


What type of garden is appropriate for your historic home's style? Here you'll find advice for garden design in numerous complementary styles, such as ornamental gardens, Georgian style, Federal style, Greek Revival, and more. 

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The Garden in Every Sense and Season, gardening book

Books for Old-House Gardeners

The OHJ editors and writer Tovah Martin share their favorite old-house gardening books.

double herbaceous border

A Landscape Designer's Own Gardens

An award-winning landscape designer’s own extensive gardens reflect two decades of cultivation and care.


Take-Aways From a Colonial Revival Garden

True Colonial-era gardens were practical, rarely ornamental, and relied on edible and medicinal plants.

White garden gate

Recommended Ways to Build a Strong Fence and Gate

Learn the best joinery techniques for a sag-free garden gate.

swimming pool area is surrounded by sculpted aerial hornbeam hedges

A Traditional Landscape for a Philadelphia Main Line Estate

Doyle Herman Design Associates bring seamless modernity to a traditional landscape, preserving the viewshed and complementing a Philadelphia Main Line estate.

hydrangea plant

Tovah Martin's Autumn Garden at Furthermore

Renowned garden writer Tovah Martin shares her personal garden in Connecticut.

A pergola leading from the street frames the symmetrical lines of the yard.

Designing a Historic Georgian Revival Garden

A soggy lawn gets a makeover to match an early 20th-century Georgian Revival home.

Garden pergola

The Architecture of the Garden

Design your garden around the style of your house.

At Afton Villa near St. Francisville, Louisiana, four Classical figures carved of Italian stone mark the place where the house once stood. (Photo: Courtesy of Afton Villa Gardens)

Antebellum Garden Design

Large southern plantation homes often lacked lavish outdoor spaces, but ones that did sport elaborate gardens tended to be designed in a geometric manner that complemented the classical and formal lines of the house.

poles with Clematis viticella ‘Polish Spirit’

Greek Revival Garden

Emerging out of mud and stumps, a pretty garden flourishes around an 1835 Greek Revival farmhouse.

submerged trough garden

A Do-It-Yourself Water Feature

A buried trough for water plants and soothing sound.

Peonies and variegated willow

Ground Covers and Underplanting

In The Garden: Add texture, prevent weeds, do away with mulch.

Federal-era landscape

Restoring Historic Hardscapes

One of the real pleasures of owning an old house is that the landscape around it has reached maturity. To revive or enhance hardscape elements from the land’s past history, expect to do some sleuthing.

sunken garden

Taming Wildmuir, An English Garden

In New York’s Catskill Mountains, an English garden with deep roots and its architecture intact is nudged toward simplicity with native plants and shrubs.

Victorian pedestal mailbox

Victorian Pedestal Mailboxes

They still make Victorian pedestal mailboxes.

azaleas, astilbes, and blue catmint surround lily pond

The Year-Round Garden

Underlying structure + horticulture = seasonal interest.

cool white, blue, and pink garden

A Landscape Designer's House & Garden

New England landscape designer Andrew Grossman bought his house, a 19th-century Cape, strictly for the lot.

period landscaping

Reviving a Historical Landscape

Janice Parker revives a historical landscape to its former beauty by using classical and romantic design inspiration.

The pool house has perfect classical proportions and offers symmetry to the garden.

Designing a Vintage Landscape

A Boston area landscape gets a serious upgrade with timeless appeal.

Green Animals in Rhode Island has an enviable location; its historic topiary has been restored.

Strange & Wonderful Topiary Gardens

See living plants sculpted into obelisks, lollipops, even animals.

A pair of Hosta sieboldiana flank the gate to the shed and greenhouse; the plants winter under the porch.

A Garden Downeast

A Garden Designer Finds His Muse in His Own Garden Surrounding an Arts & Crafts Summer Cottage in Cape Neddick, Maine.

This view is toward the house from the English cottage garden’s far axis, marked by Rosa ‘Social Climber’ making headway on a wood arbor.

Sculpting the Land

Down the woodland path to a formal garden.

garden heliotrope

Colorful, Old-Fashioned Annuals

This year, step away from the newest of the new and incorporate a few of these old-fashioned annuals into your garden plans. Their history and continuous color make them perfect for every old-house garden.

courtyard garden

A Winter's Tale at Juniper Hill Farm

Winter interest was paramount in the architectural design of this garden.

Products of the Week

Victorian polychrome paint scheme

Preservation Products

Preservation Products is the exclusive licensed distributor for Acrymax preservation and restoration systems, also offering special formulated primers, sealers, clear coats, accessories and reinforcing fabrics.