Don’t let your boundary fence dictate the shape of the garden

So many gardens that I see are square.  This makes sense as the plots are divided early on and it is easy to fence them.  That doesn’t mean that the borders have to be square too.

This unimaginative style invariably leads to the borders being far too narrow and the shrubs and perennials that have been planted in them grow in all sorts of directions desperate for light.

This front garden is a case in point.  The gravel drive just has space for a car to turn around near the front door and a corner has been shaved off the square lawn to make manoeuvring easier.  This has left almost a rectangle with narrow, straight beds at the sides.  The shrubs have been clipped into tight rounds and egg shapes and the whole is rather uninspiring.

The new scheme introduces shape by using the angled corner as the end of a figure eight.  The two round areas of lawn laid diagonally across instead of straight ahead from the front of the house, add a generous, spacious feel.  The borders are then shapely as well as being broad enough to take a variety of plants.  There are scented climbers on the back wall which will be trained through the railings to provide a bit more privacy, roses and hydrangeas provide colour and scent from mid summer and the perennials and bulbs will be of interest from spring through to the end of the autumn.  By sticking to a simple colour palette of pink, white and pale blue, the scheme is welcoming, brightening a slightly shady area and has a cottage garden feel which sets off the architecture of the house.

Even though this photo was taken shortly after I had done the planting, it is easy to see how the borders will fill and the shape of the lawn adds interest to a square garden.

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