• Sarah Kay

Design tips for an awkwardly shaped garden

This week I've started work on a design for a small courtyard back garden with some very awkwardly-shaped boundaries. But these awkward shapes can be a blessing and can lead to some unique and original designs with the use of some clever visual tricks which distract the eye away from the boundaries. Here's my tips for making the most of an odd shaped plot.


1. Consider curves

Curves help distract from the angles of the garden as the eyes are naturally drawn along the curves. In the garden below a curved patio and flower beds were used to distract from the boundaries and create interesting planting shapes.


2. Follow the geometry of the house

The garden should relate spatially to the house so use the house geometry to dictate the lines in the garden. This created some unique and interesting planting pockets, with plants helping to disguise the boundaries. Following the boundary lines can actually accentuate the irregular shape of the garden.


3. Use of focal points

Well placed focal points such as wall art, vertical planting, architectural container plants or mirrors lead the eye toward them and away from the edges of the garden. Mirrors also have the added effect of making a space look bigger.


4. Adding height

A pergola, tree or arch leads the eye upwards, distracting from the awkward shape of the garden. The pergola in the garden below was softened with climbers to disguise the wall behind.

I'll keep you updated on how my design develops over time.

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