Formal Gardens are gardens that have been influenced from European garden designs. One common feature of a formal garden are the placement of a three terraced outdoor garden beds. Different flowers grow in each of the three beds, and separating the beds is a well maintained hedge. While the hedge separates the three beds it is still possible to peek over and see what is growing in the adjoining garden bed. The Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Tennessee features a beautiful formal garden and this garden is complimented by a19th century cast iron fountain, a feature also common to formal gardens. The Elizabeth Gardens in Connecticut are also European inspired and the garden features a mix of wildflowers and indigenous shrubs and trees, and in keeping with the colonial influence it is home to English portraits and ancient statuary and ornaments.
The Gardens at Duke in New Jersey are designed with a French influence. The founder of the garden, Doris Duke, was inspired by Du Pont's Longwood Gardens, however the gardens also have Italian and English characteristics in their design. The Gardens at Duke are elegant and have a magnificent exhibition of plants and garden décor. There is a stunning Italian courtyard surrounded by lavish statues, the French parterre garden is romantic and complete with luscious flowers and the five English gardens are a masterpiece featuring a topiary with shrubbery trimmed into shapes. There is also an Elizabethan Knot Garden of the 16th and 17th centuries, and an 18th century succulent garden. These are just some of the features of this spectacular formal garden. This botanical garden contains many flower gardens featuring many different garden designs which are internationally influenced.
The Gardens at Philbrook in Oklahoma also contain European garden designs. The gardens feature English, French and Italian iconography including a balustrade walk, a grotto and mirror pond and a formal garden lies the pastoral grove. The main European influences however came from Italy, and this is shown by the ample room in the garden for simply admiring the view. The garden is also home to Oklahoma's native plants. Like the Gardens at Philbrook and the Gardens at Duke, the Dumbarton Oaks Garden also incorporates French, English and Italian elements in the garden design. One of the spectacular elements to these gardens is the open air theatre which was a common trait of stylish seventeenth and eighteenth century European gardens. It is a thoroughly enjoyable experience walking around a formal garden.