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The Difference Between Formal and Informal Landscape Design

Formal and Informal Landscape Design-Santa Fe Landscaping Pros, NM

For homeowners who love gardening or landscaping, a house without a lawn is like a summer without sunshine – it just doesn’t make sense. The first thing visitors notice is your yard, which sets the tone for the rest of your home. So, having a beautifully-landscaped lawn is both a source of pride and an investment, considering that landscaping is not a simple job at all.

You must consider the type of plants to be used, as well as ornaments, materials, and landscape design. Landscape maintenance designs come in a variety of styles. Still, the most well-known landscape design styles on the market today are formal and informal landscape designs. But what are the distinctions between the two?

Formal Landscape Design

Formal Landscape Design-Santa Fe Landscape Pros Santa Fe, NM


This type of landscape design sees beauty as a result of order, geometry, and perfection. The objective of a formal landscape design is to appear exquisite. It is mostly used in Royal and Upper-Courtesy establishments. This style dates back to the ancient Greeks and was inspired by their fascination with geometry and mathematics.


Formal landscape design is a style that emphasizes order, symmetry, and the classic standard of beauty. It involves a lot of perfectly cut geometrical designs with repetitive patterns that evoke luxury and class.  This is accomplished by ensuring that every element in a landscape follows a specific pattern. It takes into account the size and color of the plants being used. Also, they consider the shape in which these plants are formed. Besides the plants, this design also considers the shape of the tiles, stones, and concretes used to improve the appearance of symmetry and texture in a landscape.


The goal of formal landscape design is to create well-defined and recognizable shapes. These shapes are typically used to outline planting areas, but they can also be used as part of the hardscape. Most formal landscape designs include a centerpiece that draws attention to the garden while also improving its visual appeal.

Informal Landscape Design

Informal Landscape Design-Santa Fe Landscape Pros Santa Fe, NM


Informal landscape design is a style of landscaping that focuses on a more natural appearance. It uses a free-flowing style that appears less structured. But this is not to say that informal landscape design does not value symmetry. Allowing the plant to grow naturally rather than manipulating it allows for symmetry to be achieved. Informal design is indeed easier to achieve than formal design because the latter is very precise in terms of structure.


This type of landscape design is more common than formal landscape design because it is more attainable and requires less maintenance. Hence, most gardens use this type of landscape design. Creating this type of design is all about allowing nature to flow in whatever way it wants. It has a lot to do with mixing and matching different plants and how they interact with one another. But what makes this design more difficult to maintain is how messy it can get at times, as well as how difficult it is to blend different plants.


The goal of an informal landscape design is to achieve a more natural look and to appear more upbeat, laidback, and relaxed. It attempts to preserve the natural look of the plants and ornaments. Although this landscape design aims to appear less structured, this doesn’t mean that this type of design is easy to manage. If you are not an artist, it may be difficult to find the fine line between chaotic beauty and chaotic mess.

Start Your Landscape Project with Us!

Santa Fe Landscape Pros provides formal and informal landscaping design services to every homeowner who wishes to upgrade their lawn. We are a team of professionals eager to put your landscaping ideas into action. Our expert landscape designers will listen and make suggestions based on your preferences because your opinion matters to us! Not only that, we will help you in creating a timeless landscape by utilizing the most up-to-date methods and tools for preserving its beauty. We can accomplish this without compromising your plans for how you want your landscape to look. 

With our professional landscaping services, we can help you transform your lawn into a work of art. If you have any questions, please call us at 505-375-6901, and we will gladly answer them!

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