Transforming a bland square shape back garden – Case study

Like a lot of gardens, the garden featured in this month’s case study was a fairly typical one. It consisted mainly of just lawn with a few plants dotted around and a shed.


So, if the majority of your garden is lawn, how do you make it more interesting?

Step 1 Create a lawn shape that is simple, yet creates interest and utilises the space well.


Step 2 Add some height to create interest.

A pergola walk, archway or even small tree avenue can do wonders for creating interest in the garden. Any vertical element you put in your garden will lead the eye to it and up, which makes a very flat dull garden a lot more interesting, as there is more to look at.

Step 3 Use paths to both visually and functionally take you round the garden.

Paths are great for making gardens look and feel more interesting. Your eyes will automatically follow them around the garden. Even if you never physically use them, they still draw the eye around the garden.

Part of the main trick to garden design is to create a visual journey throughout the garden. Gardens are always very dull if you can see everything in one go. With any design, it is important that you create an interesting visual journey garden.

The garden featured in this case study did have quite a lot of sheds and a summerhouse to incorporate. So we used paths to link different areas of the garden together and take your eyes away from the sheds. These are practical for getting you to the other end of the garden, as well as visually pleasing.

There was also a hidden courtyard garden at the bottom left which was screened off using trellis. It was paved at an angle with a central focal point to create interest. This cosy area was a bedroom garden where the owners could have their morning cup of tea in the sun.


A large deck area at the top of the garden created additional seating and interest with the rope and posts going around it. And this also helped take the eyes away from the sheds.

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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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