Designing an Awkward Shaped Plot


Award winning local garden designer Selina Botham discusses how to design a garden in an awkward shaped plot.  These types of garden present more challenges than a more standard rectangle or square and it is for this reason that she particularly enjoys designing for odd shapes.  Her own garden is an awkward shaped plot and was featured on BBC Gardeners World in March 2015.

Top Tips

When considering what to do it is important to bring out the best and disguise the less helpful aspects of the shape, making sure that you make the most of the garden.  Of course there are still all the practical and aesthetic requirements too, and all these factors make designing an awkward shaped garden especially challenging and interesting.

Here are Selina’s top tips:

  • Keep it bold and simple.  A simple shape, such as a circle or square, will be easy to ‘read’ and will help to keep attention away from the boundary shape
  • Screen the most awkward places, so you can’t see them.  For example with a triangle if you screen off the most pointed bit this can help
  • If the garden is broken up into several disjointed areas you can use a repeating shape or plant to create unity
  • Blur the boundary. A dominant fence all the way round is bad in most gardens, but worst in a garden with an awkward shape.   A green boundary is less visible and this can be part of the solution
  • Draw attention to the widest or best dimension of the garden, for example, if you garden is wide but short then use design features that will take your eye from side to side making the most of the width

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