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Awkward shaped garden design ideas

Making the best use of the space in an awkward shaped garden can be a challenge for even the most green-fingered of us. However, with some clever garden design tricks, you can maximise your outdoor space and create a unique garden that you’ll enjoy all year round.

From narrow yards to tapering plots, here are some smart design ideas for even the most awkward of gardens.

Sloping gardens

Multi-level garden with bamboo, stone garden ornaments and tall plants

Transform a sloping, uneven plot of land into a beautiful tiered or multi-level garden. Get a gardener to level off each section of the garden so you have different flat zones. This will break up the space and give you individual zones to use as you like. You could pave over a section to create a patio and leave a grassy section for the kids to play in. For the ultimate touch of luxury, why not turn one of the sections into a raised swimming pool?

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Tapering or triangular gardens

Awkward shaped small garden with egg chair, circular paving and small landscaped lawn

Soften harsh lines and angles in a tapering garden by planting luscious plants along the perimeter. Tall, leafy plants, like palms, will add a tropical Love Island garden vibe no matter the weather. On the other hand, bright low-lying shrubs such as lavender and rose bushes will give your garden a classic look just like the ones in Bridgerton

Turn the awkward shaped garden corner that’s left, into a comfortable seating area with garden furniture. Opt for a hanging egg chair for a tranquil solo reading spot. Or, invest in a rattan sofa that’s perfect for group socialising.

Narrow gardens

L shaped patio with metal dining set and grassy plants

Balance out a long and narrow garden by adding some points of interest throughout the space, so that it appears wider.

Layer plants of varying heights, textures, and colours along the perimeter of your garden to conceal the fences or walls that make it look narrower. By playing with height, you’ll draw the eye up rather than straight ahead to the end of the garden. Plant tall grasses and shrubs against the fence or wall first, then plant mid-sized greenery and shorter flowers in front. In other areas of the garden, you could even create a vertical garden by growing climbing plants, mounting hanging basket plants or DIYing a wall-mounted herb or vegetable garden using wooden pallets.

A straight garden path will make a narrow garden look even longer. So, go for a curved or zigzag path that takes you on a journey through the different areas of your garden, rather than straight to the end.

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L-shaped gardens

Garden path with stones and plants in edging

The section of an L-shaped garden that’s around a corner is often neglected. Lay a garden walkway that winds throughout the entire space to connect both parts and ensure no area goes forgotten. Plus, if you’ve got a side return garden, a path leading from your house and into the garden will make it feel more like an extension of your home, rather than an awkward standalone space.

Make an L-shaped garden more cohesive by planting robust shrubbery that fits your garden’s theme along the path. You could go for bright and fragrant flowers in your favourite colour or use evergreen succulents for a minimalist aesthetic. Whatever edging plant you choose, make sure it can withstand a good amount of footfall!

Tiny gardens

Awkward shaped small city garden with outdoor dining set, living wall and astroturf

City living comes with many benefits, but one of the drawbacks is the tiny gardens that come with it. Create the illusion of a larger outdoor space using:

  • Mirrors: By reflecting sunlight around your garden using a mirror, you’ll make it seem brighter and wider. You could even strategically place a mirror behind plants to make your foliage look thicker and more plentiful.
  • Horizontal lines: Horizontal lines open up a garden. Fences with horizontal panels are a popular choice, as they offer a contemporary aesthetic and add privacy from any busybodies.
  • Garden lighting: Shady gardens often look smaller than they really are. Recessed or wall-mounted outdoor lights will brighten up your garden without taking up valuable floor space.

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