How to Design Odd Shaped Gardens

Garden design can seem pretty difficult, but it becomes even more so if the garden itself is a weird awkward shape. This post deals with the problems these unusual shaped spaces create and how to design odd shaped gardens.

I have created lots of gardens for my customers, but garden shapes are becoming more irregular and odd! Perhaps this is due the explosion of new housing being built. Developers maximise the number of units to be built, but this leaves lots of weirdly shaped spaces; which become your gardens!

See also:

Developers can make garden design tricky!!

What is the main design problem to overcome?

Take a look at all these gardens, all are irregular shapes, but what is the issue common to all of them?

The fences and boundary lines ARE what dictate the shape of the garden. If the lawn follows to the shape of the boundary – it just highlights the oddness of the shape!

THE TOP TIP for How to design odd shaped gardens is to MAKE YOUR OWN SHAPES DOMINATE

The basic theory is this; you will always look at the largest most dominating feature, it demands your attention. If that feature is lovely (like a view over countryside) then great, if it isn’t, you need to make your own ‘view’ – and you do that with a new shape.

So let’s take one of these gardens and show you what I mean. If we take all the clutter from the garden, you discover it has a secret corner. Currently this area is a bit of a dumping ground, but could it be transformed and repurposed?

The owners have also built a wavy wall and half moon patio, so we would want to work with these – as hard landscaping changes are expensive.

To distract you from the narrowing shape, the idea now is we now use this as THE main feature. If we make the end corner an inviting area but one that you can’t quite see, it invites curiosity. Let’s make it a place that is worth walking down the garden to explore. So I have been a bit bold and painted the new fencing in that area bright yellow!

The oval lawn makes you look down the garden, but at the end of the big lawn shape we have created a gateway and hinted at something behind. The narrowing fence line has been used to create a positive feature.

What to do in your own garden

Take a picture from an upstairs window, and if possible use some photo editing software to delete the existing clutter. Then you can begin to play around with the big shape of the lawn. Try to use whole shapes as much as possible, as you need a dominant feature to compete with the boundary shape.

Offset the angle of the lawn too, this an help make a garden feel wider or longer. Lastly don’t worry about the funny shaped ‘offcuts’ of ground, these will become the new borders. Plants are very good at hiding ‘wonky’ things!

Once you have a shape you like the you need to add plants. The most important design trick here however is:

Make sure some the plants grow taller than the fence lines

Choosing plants can be a bit tricky – luckily for you we have sorted that problem.

Visit the Shop

for lots of lovely border planting designs to help transform your garden.

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