Colonial garden style is folksy, homely, neat, clean and tidy. With its suggestions of an American cottage garden, it has a comfortable and comforting look, co-existing in gentle harmony with its location. Clapboard and brick are often key ingredients of the house that this garden surrounds. When one thinks of this type of garden a picture of rocking chairs on the porch and screen doors springs to mind.
This garden style evokes formality and gracious living in arches, arbours and box edgings. The overall feel however is looser and more random than is the formal style and it can incorporate elements of other styles such as the cottage garden and the country garden.
The Colonial garden like the country garden developed in order to meet the needs of the people who made them, starting out as a place near the house that was convenient to grow food. As an American style of house architecture developed, particularly in the north east, so did a style of garden which is now known at the colonial style. In some ways this reflects the use of materials in the the dwellings, repeated uprights in the fences echo repeated horizontals in the siding and the use of space sometimes reflects the fact that land was more plentiful than in Europe. The result is a garden that is, initially utilitarian and as time passed more and more aesthetically pleasing. As people settled in the new world, and town an cities began to grow, the wealthier citizens began to make gardens for pleasure. These were sometimes formal in appearance & this probably set the scene for the fact that this kind of garden is now though of a space that is usually quite neat and tidy.
Experimentation in food and plant types has also given the colonial garden a distinctive appearance and feeling. As people settled and colonised they gradually incorporated new foods, such as the pumpkin. They also looked around at the various native plants that would be used to provide decorative interest in their gardens. Some of the new species that are particular to the American continent were adopted, and then adapted for use in the flower garden. The end result derives from some ideas that are European, combined with the needs, knowledge and experimentation of the settlers, giving us what is now this wonderful unique garden style.