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modern garden design structural planting

modern structural planting garden designers london

blog / planting design

design & words Amir Schlezingeramir schlezinger

Structural, Sculptural, Architectural

Modern structural planting design transcends classical formality with the architectural appositeness and sculptural beauty of natural plant forms. This fundamental arrangement of scales, shapes and rhythms, organised and utilised throughout diverse purposes, constructs three-dimensional living structures, permeating every layer of contemporary garden design with potent narratives of naturalistic informality; easy on the eye, gracefully fused, favourably lit and smartly maintained.

architectural gardens

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Evergreen, modern structural planting schemes.

Bones, body and blood, structural planting designs shape every contemporary garden – a year-round verdant anatomy of sanctum, succession and scope. Staged, scaled and stepped, these systems of composition, juxtaposition and punctuation construct multilayered outdoor shells, bonded by inseparable green chambers. From winter skeletons and spring harmonies to summer volumes, the informality implicit in contemporary garden design blueprints shoulders back-to-back seasonality in natural frameworks, where branches, trunks and crowns complete solid indoor-outdoor extensions of luxuriance.

focal points

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Sculptural, multi-stemmed forms in structural planting design.

Positioned, transitioned and thoroughly sculptured, individual focal point plants elevate structural plantings from mere constructional arrangements to captivating spatial narratives. Architectural aridity turned focal leafiness, this omphalos of formational compartments unveils its minimalist facets in contemporary garden designs, when multiplicity of uses is capsulised in sparsity of forms, reiterated by multi-branched, multi-tiered and multidimensional plant variants – syncopated in multi-seasonal backdrops. Anatomic, textural and fitly informal, modern focal accentuation reanimates successive zonality into artistic vocality, when sculptural branching sparks sought-after focality, creates deeper space and infuses an airy ambience in the structural yet refined solidity of contemporary landscape designs.

hedging designs

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Contemporary structural hedging design layouts.

No horticultural approach externalises structural planting qualities more than hedgerow design. Trenchantly, this most unnatural of all cultivation methods, captaining domination, separation, territory and clusterisation with manicured beautification, offers the broadest tools for visual spatialisation. Espaliered, pleached, parterred, miniaturised, knotted, arched, squared, elongated or formalised, our comprehensive divisional design device ultimately unites nucleus and periphery in gradational, textured, four-season, framed garden sequences.


With a profusion of ornamental cultivars, evergreen and deciduous, indigenous and far-flung, alongside sculptural cloud-shaped topiaries, hedging transcends its architectural captaincy into all-round capacity, contemporarily informalised in loose selections throughout countless contemporary gardens, where monocultural tendencies transmit order and preserve maintainability, while imbuing aesthetic exploration by expanding the perimeters of utilisable species in grasses, perennials and herb beds. As fledgling hedges mellow into maturity, and instant specimens proclaim practical progressions, this greenest of cladding forms compartmental layered screens, vertical walls and geometric planes which define the grids and bounds of structural planting.

outdoor planters

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Architectural planters in structural planting designs.

Elementarily architectural, bespoke planters entrench compositional prowess as focal alternatives where ground plantability is restricted, across patios, courtyards and rooftops, or when cohesive size, colour, or specialised growing media are intrinsically sought. Configuration, placement, grouping and pulsation find their consistent expressions through the metronomic downbeats or asymmetrical upbeats which extend structural planting beyond its conventional remit, within the progressive sequencing of contemporary garden design planters.


The wall of sound generated by infusive architectural planting schemes individualises trees, shrubs, grasses, horsetails, cycads, palms, ferns and succulents via the expansive attributes of custom-made planters as accentual centrepieces. Through additional height, amplified sense of space and seasonal interest, containerised flora consolidates the tonalities which elevate man-made order into an autonomous art form within a holistic garden design practice.

foliage fusion

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Structural frameworks, architectural outlines and sculptural foliage.

Striking foliage plants embody the forethought, broad-mindedness, diversity and intriguing imagination of contemporary garden design, interspersed within structural planting frameworks. The wispiness of large-scale grasses, unusual outlines of tropical vegetations, winter bark of deciduous trees, en masse voluminous ground covers and the skyward erectness of Bamboos all contribute indispensable interplays of shadows and light within vertical and horizontal dialogues.


As we continue restructuring prescriptive methodologies amid reduced space, climate change and loss of biodiversity, the planting designs which redefine our gardens embrace creative thinking and lateral forms, while relaxed botanic ease becomes second structural nature. Readily conducive to outdoor lighting, rewardingly improving illumination potencies over time, the architectural plants we hand-pick to compose sculptural layers mirror daytime structurality in seductive night-time silhouettes, while enabling smarter upkeep.

– coda –

Structured, Sculpted, Sequenced

From stately native tree canopies, through graceful multi-stemmed ornamental shrub outlines and geometric hedging divisions, to the eye-catching architectures of large grasses, Bamboo, Ferns and tall perennials, the canny multilayering of both woody and herbaceous floras, via a balance of evergreen and deciduous species, sustains dynamic compositions which provide seasonal continuity, functional screening, pivotal windbreaks, vista framing, comforting enclosures, transitional movement, and most of all – a coveted depth of space.