Awkward shape garden design solutions – Case study

Awkward shape garden before design

Awkward shape garden before design

Having a garden that is an unusual or awkward shape can often feel like a nightmare to deal with.

Actually though, an awkward shape garden often as not is a blessing because it enables you to come up with a design that is very unique, that you wouldn’t have been able to do in a regular rectangular shape garden.

So how do you transform an awkward shape garden?

 

Step 1 The main thing to do here is take the eyes away from the awkward angles of the garden.

To achieve that, you need to put in a dominant lawn and patio or deck area shape that steers the eye away from the angles.

Curves and circles are fabulous at doing just that, as your eyes naturally follow the shape of the curves.

However, you can also use interlocking box shapes equally well. The most important thing to remember though, is to always, always follow the lines of the house i.e. you put the box at 90° to the house and not following the angle of the wall fence. If you follow the fence angle, you end up accentuating the look of the angle rather than disguising it.

You will, of course, end up with some odd shapes, but don’t worry about these because you can easily disguise them with planting.

In the plan examples below you will see two designs for the same awkward shape garden. One using interlocking ovals and the other interlocking box shapes. Whilst both work and do the job well, the oval design is a bit more pleasing to the eye, as it is softer to look at and the curves create more interest than just straight lines.

Awkward-Garden-Design

There is no right and wrong time to use curves as opposed to straight lines, it does come down to personal taste. Most people do seem to prefer curved shapes though. Straight lines are better if you have a very modern and angular house.

Step 2 Add some height to take your eyes away from any awkward shapes.

Adding a tree, pergola, archway or something that draws your eyes up, will also help take them away from any awkward angles. In our case study garden we had both a pergola and an arch with a seating area built in. Having strong focal points like these forces your attention on something else and away from the odd shape.

Step 3 Use the leftover spaces around the lawn and planting to create an interesting meander around the garden.

The beauty of an awkward shape garden is the angled leftover bits that you end up with once you’ve got a very defined lawn shape in place. You will see in the example garden that we made use of the space with a stepping stone path winding its way through the garden. Again, this draws the eye to follow the path and, because you can’t quite see everything in one go, it makes the whole garden look larger and more interesting.

Need more ideas?

If you’d like to learn more about exactly how you can transform your garden, then check out the online garden design courses we 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 we can design your garden for you.

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About Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 20 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!

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