Like the interior of your home, garden style is an important factor in allowing you the time and space to enjoy it. With this handy guide to garden design, you can create an amazing outdoor space that you will love and – even better! – your polytunnel won’t look out of place in any of them.

#1 Traditional Garden Design


Traditional Garden

This is a flexible option, especially when you consider that the term means different things to different people. However, it is probably fair to say that most gardeners take their cue from the formal planting found at stately homes.

There are fantastic examples of formal gardens across the UK and so if you like this clipped, manicured style, spend time looking what the past century has given us in the shape of garden design and planting.

#2 Formal Garden Design

Formal Garden Design

Easy to confuse with traditional design there is a slight difference between the first design and this formal garden setting. Think mazes and zoned areas, such as a kitchen garden, allotment complemented by formal rows of flowers, all with more than a hint of romance, and you will see that there is a difference between the two.

This is not just about a manicured garden, but about everything being in a designated place. The orchard wouldn’t meet the formal garden, and in a modern formally designed garden, the polytunnel is erected close to the kitchen, but out of sight.

#3 Cottage Garden Design


Cottage Garden

If you want less formal and a more relaxed ‘anything goes’ approach, then this is the design for you. The cottage style is a mix of the old and the new, but rather than it being eclectic, the choice of planting tends to follow a strong plan, usually incorporating a lot of native plants, shrubs and wildflowers.

Clearly, an important part of the cottage garden is a vegetable plot, which why a polytunnel is a great addition. In fact, the runner bean, with its blousy red flower, was first planted in the cottage garden as an ornamental plant before we realised how tasty the beans were…


#4 Mediterranean Garden Design

Mediterranean Garden

Living in the UK, you probably wouldn’t think that this style of garden would be possible but, with a few clever additions and hard landscaping, you can mimic the Mediterranean inspired garden.

To create this style of garden paradise, you need plenty of detail in the hard landscaping, easy to achieve if you have a court style patio. With plants mainly in pots and planters, you need to be confident you have free draining soil. To authenticate to look, opt for fragrant blooms and herbs.

This style works well for enclosed and smaller gardens. Invest in bi-folding or patio doors outs onto the courtyard and you have all the ingredients for a Mediterranean garden. Now you just need the sunshine!

#5 The Minimalist Garden Design


Taking its cue from interior design, the minimalist garden is not the cop-out that many think it is for the ‘lazy’ gardener. To create this kind of garden takes work, as well as a keen creative eye and to keep it in shape takes effort too.

This style started around the 1900s and ever since minimalist-inspired garden designers have been paring back and refining the concept. Similar to a minimalist interior, exercise caution with the detailing of any hard landscaping and when it comes to planting, limit the use of colour in the blooms. Plant in blocks and clusters – this means more plants but fewer colours and varieties.

Done right, the result is simply stunning. Works well in any shape or size of garden.

#6 Contemporary Garden Design


This is about marrying the garden with the modern trends that come and go and so, if you enjoy experimenting with design and enjoy change, this is the style to adopt.

It is more a journey of transition than change than creating and opting for one style for any length of time. It may surprise you but trends in colours and plants come and go in the garden too.

Create what you like, where you like. Why not include the new trend of the outdoor kitchen, BBQ and dining space? Create a formal, courtyard type area and include complex lines and finishes, as well as minimal spaces and play areas… in fact, the list could go on and on.


But rules are made to be broken and so, when it comes to choosing a garden design style, opt for the one that offers you the best use and access to your garden.

First Tunnels create polytunnels that are the right fit for any garden. No matter what the style of your outdoor space, a polytunnel will bring so many benefits.




Outreach Assistant at First Tunnels
Ryan works as an Outreach Assistant on behalf of First Tunnels, a leading supplier in polytunnels and raised bed kits. For more information visit our website.

Latest posts by Ryan (see all)