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How to Design an Oddly-Shaped Garden

More in place of front yards, backyards normally serve a number of uses, often such as a playground for young children, a recreation place for teens and adults, a setting for outside eating, a spot for vegetables and herbs to develop and a flower garden. With an oddly shaped backyard, you have naturally separated areas for these different purposes, but you still will need to keep the balance, unity and interest that are crucial for any successful landscape design.

First Steps

Pull the home and yard shape on chart paper to scale up. Insert current plants, trees and garden structures that you don’t need moved.

Draw sunny and shady areas for all areas of the garden to ascertain what plants may be grown in various places. Include every area of your oddly-shaped yard, as every area may have a different orientation to the sun.

Duplicate the basic outline multiple times so that you are able to draw unique variants of your plan when you start experimenting with various designs. Spend some time on this because your oddly-shaped lot give you lots of areas to puzzle over.

List distinct purposes that you want in your yard, such as a sitting and eating area, a playground and a contemplative space. Number those functional areas in order of priority, because you might not have the ability to fit each of them into an oddly-shaped yard.


Pick one of the functional areas from your record to use as a central focal point and also to create a unified initial impression of the yard. This might be an eating place if outside living is an significant part your lifestyle, a herb garden if you’re an avid cook or even a gorgeous specimen tree, even if your highest priority is having nature outside your doorstep.

Put other functional areas elsewhere on your map because you can fit them inside the odd shapes in your yard. Balance large spaces or objects in one place, such as a large tree or playground structures, with large objects or groups of smaller plants or objects in another region so that each region is not squeezed in the greatest part of the lot.

Draw in paths, hedges or flower beds to separate distinct functional spaces in the yard whilst also linking them to one another. Experiment with drawing a number of distinct avenues through your oddly-shaped whole lot until you find one that has the fewest ends and creates the most fluid layout. Use common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) as a drop in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6a through10a.

Plant an intriguing tree or large sculptural plant in a pointed corner of their yard to soften the edges of the space. An out-of-the-way corner works well for plants with large leaves, such as rhubarb (Rhubarb), which grows well in sun or partial shade USDA zones 1 through 10b or to get a spiny plant such as a 12-foot wide century plant (Agave americana) in USDA zones 9a through 10b.

Insert shrubs, perennial plants, trees, lawn ornaments and sculpture to the plan, noting which plants do well in sun, partial shade or completely shaded areas.

Narrow Parts of the Yard

Plant a shade garden to get a narrow, shady section of the yard or use that place to get a dog run. Easy growing shade plants comprise sword ferns (Polystichum munitum) for USDA zones 5b through 10b or plantain lily (Hosta hybrids) for USDA zones 5b through10a.

Insert stepping stones through narrow portions of the yard to add interest and mystery into the space. Utilize a groundcover between the pavers, such as carpet bugle (Ajuga reptans) in USDA zones 5a through 10b.

Hang a bit of garden sculpture or a mirror overhung with vines on one side of the room for extra interest. For a vertical garden grown in a photo frame, experiment with little succulents that do well in light shade, such as goldmoss sedum (Sedum acre) in USDA zones 5a through 10b.

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