Design with plants

Choosing the right plants can help create the outdoor style you want – here are the key plants to choose to help bring six different garden styles to life

Urban garden plants

With space often at a premium, plants in urban gardens have to perform. Choose wisely, and a classy, modern garden can be yours.

Key plants for urban gardens


Wildlife-friendly garden plants

Bring your garden to life by choosing the right plants - then sit back and enjoy watching the birds, bees, butterflies and more.

Key plants for wildlife-friendly gardens


Trachycarpus-fortuneiMediterranean garden plants

Pulling off a convincing Mediterranean garden is a popular aspiration for many UK gardeners. Start with a few choice plants however, and you won't go far wrong.

Key plants for Mediterranean gardens


Echinacea purpureaContemporary garden plants

Along with a crisp, geometric layout, contemporary gardens need plants that will fit in a strong, architecturally-driven style.

Key plants for contemporary gardens

Buxus sempervirensFormal garden plants

A formal garden design is built around balance, symmetry, straight lines and geometric shapes. There are certainly some plants that fit this style but it can be more a matter of how you use them.

Key plants for formal gardens

Rosa 'Cerise Bouquet'

Cottage garden plants

Cottage-style gardens need verdant and voluptuous planting to get the look - use key plants to help you achieve it.

Key plants for cottage gardens

Garden design tips from Jack Wallington

Get some quick and easy tips from gardener designer, Jack Wallington.

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.