Long Narrow Garden Design

How to design a long narrow garden

Long narrow garden design can be tricky, but not if you follow these 3 simple steps:

  • Create interest on both sides
  • Control the lines your eyes ‘see’
  • Repeat the planting

The human eye is very good at following lines, in any narrow garden these long lines dominate, the garden appears even thinner and less inviting.

The key to designing this type of garden then is to stop your ‘eye’ following the dominant lines of the garden and to make it linger on other things.

1 – Create interest on both the left and right:

This garden is long and narrow but has a lovely garden room at the end, however, the path down the centre although extremely practical, does make the garden feel even narrower.

long narrow garden with centre path and garden room at end

At present there is nothing to hold your view anywhere, so it wanders straight to the bottom of the garden. The fencing on either side merely adds to this funnelling effect – so that needs addressing too.

The new layout now moves the design from left to right. A pergola stops you looking straight down to the end and the same planting repeats down the paths.

garden design plan for long narrow garden

2 – Create an New Line for the eye to follow:

Initially, both sides of the garden channeled your view, now the focal point is the tall pergola. It demands your attention and stops you seeing all the garden at once – because it is tall.

new garden design for long narrow garden with pergola and soft low growingplants

3. Repeat the Planting:

Gardens don’t need lots of plants to be interesting, here just a few are used, but because the same plants repeat down the garden with little ‘pops’ of colour – you look for them. Which slows down your vision and moves your eye from left to right… which makes a long narrow garden FEEL wider.

Garden design is all about making the garden work for your purposes as well as making it look better.

Narrow gardens need taller planting to hide the long straight lines, this helps break the view into areas of interest closer in. By offsetting features and using colour you can give the impression the garden is wider than it really is.

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