The hedges themselves were made up of a variety of plants, usually two or more, and originally were planted with woody herbs. In the 17th century the versatile box hedge became the most common border plant. Some knot gardens had the spaces between the hedges filled with colourful and fragrant plants, others with coloured gravel or stones.
Knots had both a practical and symbolic purpose in Tudor England - they were used for everything from fashion to farming. Decorative designs incorporating knot patterns could be found on textiles, woodwork and in the garden. Knots represented the tying together of disparate elements, unity and strength. Many of the designs for knot gardens have this symbolic element.