Get the Look: New England Garden Style

Stone walls, clipped hedges and flowering borders contribute to this traditional look

The stone walls, clipped hedges, and flowering borders contribute to the traditional look of this setting.

October 25th, 2016.

Houzz Editor, an imaginative landscape designer who previously served as the garden editor for Sunset Magazine and as an in-house designer for Sunset’s Editorial Test Garden, possesses a remarkable talent for creating stunning outdoor spaces. Her exceptional garden designs have garnered recognition in prestigious publications like the Sunset Western Garden Book of Landscaping and the cover of the Sunset Western Garden Book of Easy-Care Plantings. More.over, her artistic contributions have also been showcased in Inhabitat and POPSUGAR, solidifying her reputation as a visionary in the field.


Traditional New England gardens exude a timeless charm with their white picket fences, abundant greenery, and blooming shrubs. These enchanting gardens in the Northeast embrace the beauty of each season, showcasing vibrant beds of bulbs in the spring, lively perennial borders during the summer, and a dazzling array of shrubs and trees that paint the landscape with vivid autumn colors. Whether you reside in New England or simply admire its classic garden style, here are some imaginative ideas to recreate the essence of this region in your very own yard.


New England gardens exude an air of elegance and refinement by embracing a restrained color palette. To achieve this aesthetic, meticulously shape shrubs into perfectly rounded spheres and neatly trim hedges, while focusing mainly on the invigorating combination of pristine white and verdant green. Opt for flowering shrubs and perennials that showcase pure white blossoms, such as the resplendent ‘Iceberg’ roses (Rosa ‘Iceberg’, USDA zones 5 to 9; locate your specific zone) and the enchanting ‘Annabelle’ wild hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, zones 4 to 9).


Embrace the charm of New England by incorporating the timeless materials found in the Northeast. Utilize the indigenous stone, brick, and gravel to create an authentic atmosphere. Enhance the allure of wooden fences, gates, and outbuildings with a pristine white coat of paint. Craft walkways using delightful brick, satisfyingly crunchy pea gravel, and the locally sourced flagstone. Seek out the elegance of cool-toned stones like the Connecticut bluestone pavers, ideal for patio areas, while the strength of granite enriches the beauty of wall rock.

Garden EssentialsThe iconic white picket fences, reminiscent of the quintessential American spirit, effortlessly blend with traditional houses and New England gardens. Embrace the charm by setting the fence a few steps behind the curb, creating ample space for vibrant beds of cheerful daisies or impeccably groomed shrubs.

The traditional English-style rose garden outside Winnetka, Illinois, was created with a New England garden theme.

In the realm of gardening, one can find a delightful fusion of rose gardens, knot gardens, and parterres. Drawing inspiration from the timeless elegance of European and British gardens, New England gardens often incorporate these design techniques. To achieve a sophisticated and polished appearance, one may opt for a symmetrical layout, aligning beds along a central axis and featuring a captivating circular center bed. The beds can be adorned with neatly trimmed hedges, like the evergreen boxwood (Buxus spp.), While the spaces within can be filled with an enchanting assortment of aromatic blossoms, flavorful culinary herbs, and meticulously pruned shrubs boasting an array of captivating foliage hues.

Enveloped garden entrances. Garden gates adorned with arbors, gracefully adorned with sprawling vines, epitomize the timeless essence of New England. Deliberate the inclusion of a sheltered garden entrance along your main pathway or as a means to interlink two distinct garden sanctuaries. Introduce the allure of wisteria, clematis, or aromatic climbing roses for an added touch of enchantment.

Northeastern driveways often favor gravel and crushed shell as they provide permeable surfaces that can absorb rainwater without the risk of cracking during harsh winters. When choosing gravel, it is advisable to opt for locking gravels with larger stone pieces, measuring around one-fifth inch (5 millimeters), to minimize the tracking of gravel onto garden walkways and into homes. However, for areas with heavy snowfall and frequent plowing, it is recommended to avoid using gravel or crushed shell, as snowplows can potentially damage driveways made of permeable materials. In such cases, it is better to consider alternatives like asphalt or cut stone.

Enhance the border driveways by incorporating evergreen conifers and resilient shrubs that thrive in cold climates, ensuring a captivating display throughout the year. Introduce flowing perennials such as catmint (Nepeta spp.), Evening primrose (Oenothera spp.), And the velvety lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina, zones 4 to 10) to create a gentle transition between the driveway and the garden bed.

Gravel Driveways: Evaluating the Advantages and Disadvantages.

Diverse FloraVast arrays of blossoms. Majestic leafy giants, cascading hydrangeas embracing rugged stone barriers, and vast stretches of vibrant grasslands epitomize the essence of a New England garden. An illustration of this can be seen on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where a thriving hedgerow adorned with blooming hydrangeas thrives. To emulate this aesthetic, consider cultivating rows of flowering shrubs such as astilbe, hydrangea, or lilac, strategically positioned behind a wooden fence or stonewall.

Embrace the concept of side yards as an opportunity to transform your lawn into a seamless connection between your front garden and backyard. Unleash your creativity by allowing generous borders to flourish, providing ample space for a diverse array of shrubs and perennial plants. Take inspiration from this magnificent Nantucket garden in Massachusetts, where the landscape designer artfully arranged a bountiful assortment of hydrangeas and various blooming shrubs.

As winter finally relinquishes its cold grip, the New England gardens awaken in a riot of colors. Embrace the arrival of spring with vibrant beds overflowing with a plethora of blooming bulbs and gentle perennials. To create a captivating display, intermingle a diverse medley of blossoms, including the majestic spires of common foxglove (Digitalis purpurea, zones 4 to 10), showcased here; the ethereal clusters of white lace flower (Orlaya grandiflora, zones 4 to 11); and the dainty, tube-shaped flowers of nemesia (Nemesia caerulea, zones 9 to 10).

As summer fades away, the enchanting charm of fall foliage unveils itself in the picturesque gardens of New England. The rolling hills and serene valleys become a canvas ablaze with the vibrant hues of autumn. Delight in the brilliance of trees adorned with a splendid array of colors, like the majestic sugar maple (Acer saccharum, zones 3 to 8). Alternatively, be captivated by the transformation of shrubs, as they gracefully shift from verdant green to a captivating bronze, just like the oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia, zones 5 to 9).

Nestled within a bluestone courtyard in New York, the enchanting pairing of Little Lime hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Jane’, zones 3 to 9) and billowing golden Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’, zones 4 to 9) exudes a whimsical ambiance, reminiscent of the charming allure of New England. Adorned in pure white blooms, these gardens with their tasteful and elegant white flowers illuminate the lush emerald hues of the surrounding New England scenery.

Amidst towering spires of enchanting ‘May Night’ woodland sage (Salvia x sylvestris ‘May Night’, zones 4 to 9), delicate and elegant white peonies unfurl their graceful petals. In the realm of purple-and-white gardens, this harmonious combination reigns supreme. Within New England’s planting beds, the ethereal beauty of snowy white blooms entwined with varying shades of regal purple stands as a timeless and refined choice. Evoking a sense of coolness and allure, the addition of these soothing purples infuses a captivating depth to the traditional white-and-green palette.

In the realm of plant aesthetics, the presence of variegated foliage adds a touch of whimsical charm. Within the enchanting gardens of New England, where lush lawns and majestic deciduous trees dominate the landscape, it is the evergreen shrubs and their silver-variegated leaves that truly capture the imagination. Like a delicate layer of white icing gracing the surface of a delectable chocolate cake, these pale leaves effortlessly stand out amidst vast expanses of vibrant greenery. Moreover, their ethereal allure serves as a captivating accent in mixed borders while also illuminating the shadowy corners of the garden. For those inclined towards the captivating beauty of green-and-white gardens, the inclusion of variegated foliage becomes an indispensable tool, providing a delightful burst of white without the reliance on blooming flowers.

Enhance your New England-style gardens with charming garden accessories and outdoor furniture. Seek out rustic wooden benches, soothing rockers, and elegantly whitewashed Adirondack chairs to create inviting seating areas. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Burlington, Vermont, while relaxing on these exquisite Adirondack chairs, allowing you to truly appreciate the surrounding views.

Enhance your front door’s allure by incorporating vibrant seasonal containers. Take inspiration from these Atlanta-based New England-style containers, which exude warmth and hospitality. Opt for containers in elegant black or pristine white to evoke a classic ambiance. Overflow the pots with cascading vines and vivid blossoms during the rejuvenating seasons of spring and summer, while during fall and winter, substitute them with evergreens for a touch of everlastingly green beauty.

5 Container Gardens for Autumn, the Festive Season, and Beyond.

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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