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Creative Team
Creative Team February 9th, 2024

The Elegance of a Modern Southern Garden

Out with the old, in with the new.

In the world of landscaping, design elements are continuously evolving.

Gone are the days when homeowners and professional landscapers just stick to the usual and traditional styles of gardening.

Now, there is a whole existing world where modern landscaping is widely used.

Even here in the South, modern landscaping styles and techniques have gained its popularity. In New Orleans, one of the most dominant garden styles you would see in private and public properties is the Modern Southern Garden.

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What is a Modern Southern Garden?

Picking a garden style for your home landscape is like choosing for one specific flower in a bed of hundreds of beautiful flowering plants. It can be pretty hard and confusing but rewarding once you see the results.

Going over the top with your choice can be pretty risky, you might end up not liking the result at all. So sometimes, the best choice would be a combination of something simple yet bold and experimental. And this is what a modern southern garden is all about.

Modern Southern Garden has evolved from the Traditional Southern Garden. It is something that plays and takes the usual elements of a southern garden into a notch higher.

This landscape style is characterized by its emphasis on architectural design to complement the home and greenery. It evokes an organized and simple theme, yet sophisticated and inviting. The modern southern garden combines the traditional vibes of a genuine southern garden to a specific modern, minimalist design. Likewise, the striking feature of this landscape is the presence of a focal point.

  • Southern Garden with a Contemporary Touch. The main characteristic of this landscape style is its fusion of modern and minimalist style with the core of a southern garden. Typically, you would still see some core elements that are present in the traditional southern garden. The native and naturalized plants that make up a genuine southern garden are still ever-present.

Some landscapers would even say that the focus of this garden is the architectural design, more than the greenery itself.

However, we dare say that it is more of a fusion of the two than some sort of competition in terms of appearance.

Because you basically cannot make the plants, flowers, and trees to be just a background. A garden would lose its essence without the striking appearance of these.

  • Focal Point or Main Attraction. You wouldn’t be able to call it a southern garden without a main piece sitting in your space or backyard.
  • This focal point is a take on emphasis, an element of design. This certain piece in your garden is basically where your visitors will first gaze upon or be attracted to, more than the others..

Logically, your eyes will be fixated on the biggest object on a canvass.

Sugar Kettles, Water fountains, statues, tables and chairs, a small gazebo, pergola, and small trees are the popular choices to get a focal point in your garden.

More than the design itself, most of these pieces are also functional. Tables and chairs can be used all the time as a place for chilling out, reading, and bonding with friends and family.

  • Orthogonal planting style in Geometric Shapes. Growing plants in this style are characterized by their modern and sometimes formal appearance. .

Geometric lines and shapes are also heavily used here. Whether in the patio, decks, flower beds, and boxes, shapes of shrubs, among many others, you would easily notice the recurrent presence of these orthogonal shapes.

Likewise, the plants that are commonly grown in this garden include native plants and several kinds of southern flowers. Popular choices include Hibiscus, Woodland Phlox, Lilies, and Hydrangeas.

You may also opt to add Succulents and Ornamental grasses to evoke a more modern look.

  • Complements Home Architecture. The modern southern garden is treated as an extension of the house. The design of the garden should at least match the architectural theme that is most visible in the house – it can either be the design elements, the overall look, or some recurring colors.

Logically, the look of the garden would have a personal touch since it can be based on the house design. This can somehow make the design process of landscaping easier for you.

  • Repetition of Elements or Objects. Other than the presence of a focal point, this garden style also relies on the design element of repetition. Repetition provides familiarity with the observer in your space. With the recurring presence of objects in your landscape such as in the design of flower beds or steps, pleasant and inviting effects are created.

Moreover, it allows your plants to have a more striking effect.

Imagine a single Hydrangea or Southern Magnolia sitting in your garden, it would not give you the desired effect that multiple plants would give.

Playing with some design elements of the traditional style we are used to can be scary and risky sometimes. However, the evolution of style itself relies on boldness and taking chances.

With the modern southern garden, your property is given a more vibrant and inviting appeal while still maintaining the core of what a southern garden is all about.

For more tips on how to have your southern garden, contact us at Southern City Farm and Landscaping