Seeds of design:

A circular garden inspired by Balenciaga couture

garden design

Circular garden designs are very popular, people like the soft approach and the way they can soften a very boxy space.

Circular garden design

A circular garden design inspired by a Balenciaga dress

The inspiration

I recently went to the Balenciaga exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. I was not aware of this fashion designer’s work, and the huge impact Cristóbal Balenciaga had in shaping women’s fashion throughout the latter half of the last century – many celebrities and Hollywood stars wore his revolutionary couture. His designs, bold and wonderfully engineered saw him described as “the master of shape” because of his distinctive style lives on today and can be found in his exquisite craftsmanship and innovative designs.

The dress

Circular garden design

The elegant Balenciaga dress in the V&A exhibition

I looked at one of the dresses on display and explored the primary components of the shape. Three balloon-shaped bulges in the fabric drape the mannequin. They are simple, and yet with the gathering of fabric, they have repeating details. Balenciaga lets the materials do the talking, in this case working with soft fabrics such as silk.

The circular garden design

Circular garden design

The final Balenciaga-style garden design based on overlapping circles

In this design, three circles cross a plot diagonally creating two seating areas in the circular garden design with a central lawn. Spherical boxwood (spherical buxus sempervirens), each one side of the lawn, whilst a low hedge mimics the drapery and cinched-in waist of the dress. Grass is behind the hedge, depicting the movement of the fabric – the unpredictable aspect of Balenciaga’s creation. On the opposite corner, a soft plant such as an Alchemilla mollis sits against the very clipped architectural nature of the boxes. With the lovely sheen on the leaves that you get on the alchemillia mollis, it replicates the sheen of the dress.

Who is the design for?

The circular garden design places huge demands on the perimeter, filling the space, with climbers adorning the boundaries. A simple palette of greens really creates impact without being over fussy. Creating deep, triangular beds also allows for plants to become layered up, adding depth and giving striking results. This circular design would work well as a low maintenance garden: the simple planting scheme and the large expanse of lawn, which could be real or artificial, means that it would work well for all members of the family. The two seating areas would allow for dining, as well as a soft seating option.

If you would like to get some ideas germinating for your new garden design, and you live in London or the south-east of England, book your free garden design consultation today by contacting Katrina and Matt on 01702 597587 or email us at