Designs and


Strong, 1979

To recreate an Elizabethan garden today is possible, as many of the plant material is commonplace today. However, the construction of an Elizabethan Garden would stipulate some design considerations. Since most of the designs are in conjunction with a housing structure, a house or cottage on site may be a prerequisite. Moreover, whether or not the garden would fit in with the style of structure is another factor to consider.

Strong, 1979

Since these gardens did originate in the drearier climate of England, the amount of sunlight on the garden will affect the plants. Although most of the plants found in the designs can tolerate six to eight hours of sun in zone 6, more tropical or arid climates may have trouble sustaining the plant material. The garden is a place of relaxation and building shady nooks or incorporating the natural shade patterns into this design is crucial. Moreover, in near the walkways or in these cozy corners, the more fragrant material should be positioned for easier enjoyment and accessibility. A good source for plant material ideas and designs in a more temperate climate is the Elizabethan gardens in the Outer Banks, North Carolina.


An important consideration concerns the fact that many of the plants in this style garden are edible, not only for human consumption, but natural neighbors as well. The enclosed wall, whether living or fence will help deter some predation. However, deer could still be a problem, in addition, to the smaller scavenging animals. The low-growing knot work could serve as an excellent condominium complex for a variety of wildlife. A side note to this as well, if the fruit and herbs are to be edible then spraying pesticides and herbicides could be a dangerous contaminant.

Another aspect of the garden to consider is maintenance. How much pruning will be necessary to keep the orderly concept of the Elizabethan style? Perhaps dwarf varieties of authentic species would be a good addition. Moreover, the question of period or modern techniques of watering and upkeep arises. Watering, of course, is a greater factor depending on geographical location.

Strong, 1979

Actual Elizabethan homes and Gardens in East or West Sussex, England or the U.S.