studies in environmental psychology in north america and western europe suggest that people of the city tend to value the contact with nature. an ecological style, naturalistic approach, might be an appropriate alternative because it promotes the minimal use of inputs in the establishment and management of planting schemes (substrates, fertilizers) it consideres species adapted to the site and it promotes widespread acceptance amoungst users. however, there is evidence of a difference in perception towards these alternatives according to age and gender of the public. therefore this research aimed to study the perceptions of users (n = 300) according to these variables into ecological and formal herbaceous plantings, both located in the main entrance of endcliffe park in sheffield, uk. thus, the professional landscape designers could consider these principles to design more sustainable plantatings with a more "democratic" sense. this could be done by considering the positive aspects of both plantings. the evaluation was done by questionnaire in site. the results indicated more positive attitudes towards the ecological planting by women and users between 31 and 60 years of age. by contrast, formal plantings were perceived more positively by men and the group of 18 to 30 and up to 61 years of age. the differences found in men and women and age may be due to cultural factors or evolutionary theories. through this study there were found positive aspects that could let to promote more sustainable planting schemes with greater acceptance by the laid public.