The garden in this month’s case study is a little bit unusual. This is because the driveway ran down the side of it to the garage and parking area at the top. So it was a bit like having a front and back garden combined as one.


So how do you overcome an awkward or unusual garden layout?

Step 1 Your main job is to disguise the part that is unusual, or try to at least turn it to your advantage and incorporate it into the design in some way.

In the garden featured in this case study we simply disguised the existence of the driveway with some careful planting and use of upright timber sleepers to take the eyes away from the driveway.

Step 2 Utilise the space to enhance the area that you’re left with.

The inclusion of the driveway and parking area into the back garden left us with a slightly unusual shape. To take the eyes away from that fact, we put in a nice oval lawn that was angled away from the drive.


Step 3 Create a diversion so that you have something other than the awkward element to focus on.

In the garden in this case study, the slate stepping stone path around the right of the curved lawn drew the eye away from the driveway and up to the top of the garden.

A rendered wall water feature with a cascade fountain into the pond below created an additional diversion and point of interest.

The rendered wall around the patio area curved out and up to the lawn area. Curving it this way draws the eyes forward and up to the rest of the garden, and makes good use of the available space.

If you’d like to learn ALL there is to know about how to design a garden easily to a professional level, then take a look at the Great Garden Formula…



Rachel Mathews
Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 30 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!

    8 replies to "A back front garden! An unusual garden – Case study"

    • Lee Bergmann

      very interesting. would have loved to have seen more photos. couldn’t make out the rendered wall and fountain.

      • Rachel Mathews

        I’ve added some extra pictures showing the fountain Lee.

        • Lavenda

          I only see one picture and can’t make out where the fountain is😥.

          What I do see though, is the lawn.

          • Rachel Mathews

            Hi Lavenda,

            The water feature is the white wall – unfortunately, it’s not working in the photo. The water cascades down in a sheet from the metal blade.


      Hi Rachel – love the new design and the oval lawn is fabulous but I cant see from the pictures the upright timber sleepers. Maybe its my eyesight in old age LOL – Is the driveway the dirt track leading up to the house? (Pic 1 of before)

      – Where is this please -> rendered wall water feature with a cascade fountain into the pond below

      The rendered wall around the patio area curved out and up to the lawn area.- Q. Is this the white wall?

      Just comparing pic 2 of before to pic 2 of after and it looks like the side of the house was rendered too and windows put in or is this a different angle….

      🙂 Janine

      • Rachel Mathews

        It’s not your eyesight Janine – I’ve added an extra image for you with the upright sleepers in! The clients did render the house walls when they did it up. The white wall is the back of the water feature and yes the one that goes around the patio.

    • Lexie

      You are amazing! Beautiful transformation and I am jealous lol

      • Admin Superstar

        Thank you so much for your kind words. I will pass it to Rachel. Thank you again and best of luck with your garden!

        Successful Garden Design Customer Service Manager

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