If your garden is wider than it is long, then you need to put a bit more thought in to how you plan it. The problem with wide gardens is their lack of depth, it makes the garden feel confined because the end of the garden is so close.
This is true even if the garden is quite sizeable. You might have a lot of physical space in the garden, but if it’s pointing in the wrong direction i.e. widthways and not lengthways, then visually it will make the garden feel much smaller than it really is.
So how do you design a wide garden?
Step 1 Divide the space of the garden into different areas.
The division doesn’t have to be a wall or fence, it can be very subtle with planting or a pergola. By dividing the space up, it will make each area look longer. So in effect, each end of the house has its own garden.
Now depending on just how wide your garden is, you can divide it into two or perhaps three areas.
Step 2 Choose shapes that will make each of your divisions look longer.
So, for example, using either an oval or rectangular shape in each of the sections of your garden for the lawn, will make that area look longer, because your eyes will follow the length of shape. You can also use interlocking circles or boxes. If you have enough space, then you can consider using the free form flowing curves. However, it is advisable to start off with simple geometric shapes, just to get an idea of the feel of the space.
Step 3 Create interest by having focal points that draw your eye down the garden.
By having strategically placed focal points like a statue, urn, or bench/seating area, your eyes will automatically be drawn to the solid object in between the planting. Adding a focal point to look at occupies your mind with more visual information and that always helps distract your brain from the true shape of the garden.
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Case study – wide garden
In our wide garden case study example you can see that owner had had a really good go at designing the garden herself. She had put in one nice size lawn shape, and had a good ratio of plants to space. However, the shape she had used for the lawn accentuated the width and made the garden feel shorter, rather than longer.
This transformation could be easily done on the limited budget that was available for this garden. It really is amazing just how much difference getting the correct shape lawn can make to a garden.
I know it’s totally counterintuitive, you want to think of your garden as putting things in, like patios and plants, but it really is down to how you shape the areas of empty space. That’s what really makes a difference!
Many thanks to Gillian for so willingly allowing me to use her garden plan as a case study example.
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