So, just how do you go about transforming a boring and bland garden into something that is beautiful, eye-catching and won’t blow your budget?
Step 1 Take a good look at the overall shape of your garden.
Is your garden long and narrow in shape? Perhaps it is wider than longer? Or maybe it is a square shape? Maybe, none of those and you have a really odd and awkward shape garden?
If your garden is long and narrow you need to use shapes that make it look wider (lawn and patio shapes are the critical ones to get right here). If it’s a wide garden you need shapes to make it look longer. If your garden is square, you need to use shapes that create interest and draw the eye around it. And if you have a really odd shaped garden, you need design shapes to take your eyes away from the awkward angles.
Step 2 Apply the right shape of lawn, patio or deck to suit your shape of garden that creates interest and makes best use of the space.
I will cover how to do different shape gardens in upcoming blog posts. Today though, we’re going to focus our efforts on how to tackle a square shaped garden. If you can’t wait for future blog posts in this case study series, and you have a long narrow garden you desperately want to transform, then head over to the garden design workshop where I demonstrate the entire process of exactly how to transform that type of garden with video tutorials.
Step 3 Once you have your main shapes organised, then choose a focal point that leads the eyes around the garden and creates additional interest.
Focal points can be anything from a nice statue to a bench or urn. You can even use showy plant varieties as a focal point. A plant like a Japanese Maple with deep burgundy coloured foliage makes a great focal point.
So, let’s now break down those three main steps by looking at a case study.
Square garden case study
Now, although this garden isn’t a perfect square, it’s close enough for demonstration purposes.
The main problem with it was the existing block paving patio was very boring. There was no nice mixture of paving or nice shape to it. Also, the path that led straight to the garage was at a bit of an odd angle and didn’t do the garden any favours visually. In other words, there was no real design shape to the garden.
The first job was to disguise the shape of the relatively new patio and lead the eyes away from the straight lines and bland paving. This was done by the use of a large oval, brick-edged lawn and curved shaped water feature area. A big sweeping curved gravel and stepping stone path replaced the old paver path to the garage, making much better use of the shape whilst still being practical.
The curved shapes make the area look not only larger, but also create interest and lead the eyes around the garden to the focal point feature area at the top left. In this particular case, the feature was a small round seating area with a pergola above it. The pergola created height and interest as well as a focal point.
If you compare the garden before to the after picture below, you can see just how much difference correctly shaping the lawn can make. The factors like the planting, water feature and pergola obviously play an important role, but the key is getting the lawn shape right BEFORE adding all those other goodies!
Need more help?
If you’d like to learn more about exactly how you can transform your garden, then check out the online garden design courses I run here at Successful Garden Design. I particularly recommend the Garden Design Workshop if you’re looking for a quick and easy overview. Or if you want the full shebang and want to know about garden design in depth, then take a look at the Great Garden Formula.
Rather not DIY design your garden? In that case take a look at the worldwide postal garden design service and I can design your garden for you.