Traditional Country Estate Garden Design – 8 Key Elements

The beauty and grandeur of country estates entice and enthral. The estate gardens of these sumptuous dwellings have an array of magnificent traditional design elements. These garden design elements work in unison with the stunning country estate architecture. Whilst not exhaustive, we have compiled a list of 8 key traditional country estate garden design elements for you to explore.

Grand Entrances & Avenues

A country estate garden’s tall, gated entrance is where one is first captivated by the grandeur and put on notice of what lays in wait behind. Avenues of mature trees line gravel driveways evoking awe and splendour as you wind through open lush surroundings, slowly approaching the main estate. Tall towering trees create a vertical structure and an ambiance of formality and theatre.


In any country estate garden design, pathways are an essential and elegant addition to link garden rooms, creating flow, and building anticipation. Pathways with soft herbaceous plants work harmoniously, softening borders and spilling out into garden features. Pathways lined with arching trained trees, create an organic and atmospheric way to guide you on your journey whilst blending into the wider surrounding landscape with ease.

Borders for Boundaries

Borders in traditional country gardens help define boundaries and zones, this can be achieved in a number of ways. Box hedging and topiary yew are the natural choices for creating structure, grandeur, and formality. Repeating tall, manicured topiary helps create the ever-alluring stately country house garden look and feel. Herbaceous wide borders overflowing with perennials allow you to experiment with height and colour, the epitome of quintessential English country garden design.

Garden Rooms & Topiary

Topiary can be used to create garden rooms formed through natural walls or hedging with surrounding planting. Adorn bedding with your favourite sweet scenting flowers or herbaceous plants to help soothe and relax whilst you take a moment to enjoy the peace and tranquility. If you have walls as part of the structure to a garden room, lavish with spectacular clematis, wisteria or climbing roses for beautiful scents and aesthetic appeal.

Enchanting Rose Gardens

Some say no English country garden is complete without the enchanting feature of the much-loved Rose garden. Rose gardens are a popular element in traditional country estate garden design. It’s a chance to showcase an array of ancient and modern shrubs or climbers, the sweet-smelling bloom will captivate and enthrall with displays of colour from many different varieties.

Commanding Vistas

Part of the allure of country estate gardens is the spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. Some gardens carve out natural frames through topiary or willow to admire the scenery. Ha Ha’s are a simple yet effective design element creating the feeling of openness, allowing unbroken views from the house and garden to the countryside beyond. English landscape garden designers have been keen to create ha ha’s in many of their famous gardens to date.


Garden stairs are a traditional design element used to create height and connect zones. This can be in the form of a dramatic feature grand staircase or smaller beautifully designed steps to raise an area to admire the green and beyond. Stairs can be designed on sloping ground or flat levels. Stairs elevate a garden design highlighting visual appeal and helping create that all all-important wow factor.

Water, Daytime Serenity & Evening Soirées

To complete a country estate garden design water features such as lakes, ponds, and pools define scale, sightlines, and boundaries. Wide expanses of still water emit a sense of space and serenity. Take a moment to enjoy butterflies dancing near the water’s edge or swifts swooping down to the water below. Enclosed formal ponds create spaces for intimacy, daytime contemplation, or a late evening Soirée.