How to Cope with Wide Shallow Gardens

Wide shallow gardens lack depth relative to their width and can appear to lack a sense of space and distance.  This problem can be exacerbated in small back gardens with high fences, where the garden can seem like a tiny shallow rectangular box.  And in front gardens, the problem can be made worse by the need to partition the garden in order to provide space for parking and a path to the front door.

But there are ways around these issues; take a look at the following photos for example:

The following garden design tips might help:

  • A strong internal garden structure and shaping will direct attention away from the outer boundaries and the closest fences
  • Bold but curving / flowing shapes (e.g. for lawns) are particularly effective
  • Locating a garden feature or feature area (to accommodate a seat for example) in the far corner(s) of the garden, and shaping the paving or lawn so that it flows out to these features can increase the apparent size of the garden.
  • Don’t be afraid to make the shallowest part of the garden even shallower, so that the garden can widen out into the corners – giving even more sense of depth and space
  • Or, you might try an alternative approach to the above, emphasizing the shortest (shallowest) part of the garden with a straight path through it. This can give a greater sense of depth, and works particularly well in formal and / or front gardens.
  • Another, and slightly unusual approach, in very wide gardens, might be to consider dividing the gardens into rooms, but running across (as opposed to up) the garden (see the second example in the slideshow above).
  • Materials can play an important role. For example, paler paving can make an area appear larger.  And finally…..
  • Not forgetting plants. Recessive colours like mauves and blues appear further away, and therefore make a garden seem deeper and / or larger than it actually is.  In contrast, really bright reds and oranges can have the opposite effect and are best avoided, at least in the furthest reaches of the garden.

If nothing else, remember to keep it simple.  This is particularly important in very small gardens, where very simple patterns and shapes, done well, normally give the most elegant and effective solution.

If you’re struggling for ideas and need some professional input, please do give us a call (0118 934 2958) or email us ([email protected]).

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