Nurture your garden into good shape to create a unique space that makes the most out of every little bit. Use shapes in your garden to add some character.

If you lay down a rectangular lawn then slap borders on three sides, what have you got? A garden like most others. But with a little imagination you can make yours feel considerably larger by adding curves.

Lawn layouts

Landscape designers tend to add shapes such as kidney or teardrop to break up a lawns natural ‘block’ effect and give the impression of more space.

If you want to have a go at this, use your hosepipe as a template to mark out a shape. Then look down from an upper window and adjust it until you get your desired shape. Next, cut around the hosepipe with a spade or lawn edger and remove the excess turf. Ensure you save some for repairs or to extend elsewhere.


Even a small garden will benefit from this trick and give the illusion of a larger and bespoke space. Also, paths can have a great impact when they are not straight.

The eye naturally follows a straight line, so by staggering paths and having them meander through the garden will provide a visual journey rather than simply taking visitors from A to B.

However, always bear in mind the practicalities of paths and paving to ensure they are fit for purpose.

Dynamic designs


Implementing soft, rounded edges in your garden will complement the soft foliage of plants such as Adiantum venustum (evergreen maidenhair) that will thrive in a shaded border.

Alternatively, the rounded edges can contrast with the sword-like foliage of Cordyline australis (cabbage palm). This will help you achieve a coastal feel in your garden.

Stepping stones, bark or wood chippings, gravel or paving are all great ways of adding more textures to accompany your plants. Not only that but they’ll help separate areas of the garden.

Using these materials as pathways gives another opportunity to create a dynamic space by planting plenty of fragrant varieties alongside the paths.

The distinctive smell of lavender as visitors walk by or having a path lead through an arch that is adorned with fragrant climbers. A perfect choice is Choisya x dewitteana (Mexican orange) ‘Aztec Pearl’.

Hiding in plain sight

Use the shape of your garden to your advantage. Use tall plants, trellises or fencing trailing with climbers or shrubs to separate your garden. You can emphasise the aesthetically pleasing sections of your garden to draw attention from functional areas such as your wheelie bins.

It’ll create a division, without fully cutting off the space. Meanwhile, it’ll provide another area that can be planted vertically, to make the most out of your space.


Patterned patio


If you are adding a patio, rather than laying down the pavers square on with the house, make a diamond pattern to direct the eye to the left or right.

Then soften the edges by adding curves or softening the angles and surrounding the patio with potted plants or planted up borders.

Just like your lawn, the patio can be rounded, rectangular, or two shapes joined together.

In some gardens, the patio is raised with steps down to the rest of the garden. So, create a welcoming area as you step out of your back door, greeting you into the garden.

Make the most of every inch of your garden with clever use of shapes to create a dynamic design that will create the illusion of more space.

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