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Help with shape of my lawn/garden

I am spamming the forum a bit at the moment, but I am such a beginner and so useless with these kind of things I really do appreciate the input!

I'm in the middle of a garden redesign, primarily to deal with intrusive neighbours on one side, but at the same time as getting the work done there are a couple of extras I want which are a greenhouse (8 x 10) and ideally a couple of raised beds for veg, as I have nowhere / no room for a veg plot.

My plan is to have my greenhouse towards the bottom left of my garden and I've marked it out on these pics roughly with a broom and pond net. My thoughts are to have a couple of raised beds to the right hand side of it because (a) I don't ever use this bit of garden, (b) it's a pain having to mow a large and awkward area of lawn all the time and (c) it's the only space I have. However I'm really struggling to figure out how the lawn would work with this, without looking an odd shape. At the moment all I can think of is to make the whole bottom half of garden (from the back edge of the pond onwards) to be shingle, with a greenhouse and two raised beds on it, and then keeping the flower bed on the right hand side (which isn't yet finished). I wondered if anyone had any thoughts on how this would look, or this or any better ideas? I'm not personally bothered about losing lawn as I don't really use it and am doing lots of other things for wildlife in the process (including building a ruddy great big wildlife pond right in the blimmin way :D ). Even if I did decide to keep the lawn and forgo the raised beds, I think it would still look quite an odd shape with the greenhouse there?

If I just had a greenhouse and kept the lawn, it would look like this:

Or like this:

Or if I kept a bit of lawn and still had two raised beds:

Or I shingle the whole back area (from a little further back from where the white line currently is) and then have my greenhouse and two raised beds:



  • Loraine3Loraine3 Posts: 571
    I like the third one down. There's a bit of 'shape' with curved edges to the lawn.
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,498
    This is what I might do:

    1. Lawn
    2. Stepping stones across the lawn
    3. Herbaceous bed
    4. Greenhouse
    5. Compost bins
    6. Blackberries or loganberries against the fence
    7. Raised beds
    8. Raspberry bed. Or strawberries. Or runner beans
    9. Existing trees, underplanted with spring bulbs
    10. Pond
    11. Line of sweet peas
    12. Privacy belt of shrubs

    Rutland, England
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,974
    I'd avoid having any weird nooks and crannies and wiggly corners. Not only is it harder for mowing, but it looks peculiar and stands out  [not in a good way] rather than enhancing the planting and setting it off well. You often see it  happening when people want a new border or similar, so they just 'chop out' a random bit of lawn. It rarely looks good.  :)
    I'd do something more like @BenCotto illustrates, by starting with the shape of the lawn, although I've always disliked stepping stones  ;) 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,107
    edited October 2021
    Because a lawn is one area of one colour it will have a big visual impact.  Over time I’ve worked out that in smaller gardens it looks better if the lawn is a ‘shape’ or series of linked similar shapes (circle, oval, rectangle etc) with the beds around them … rather than the beds being a ‘shape’ and the lawn being an irregular amorphous area. 

    Decide on the shape of the grass areas and the rest of the garden will be borders. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Ben I love this, thank you so much for your help! This is the kind of thing I want but can never come up with myself - I have no visual ability at all and struggle to picture anything unless it's in front of me (which makes all aspects of gardening a challenge!!)

    My only concern is around reducing the lawn to that size - if it stop in front of the pond it will be less than half the size of the whole garden. Now I don't mind that, but I wonder if there is a risk if I decide to sell the house in the future - these houses are designed for small families really. Having said that, I worried about it with the pond I built and I still got 7 offers above asking price, so perhaps I shouldn't worry too much!!

    Dove I 100% agree with you, I've just somehow got myself into a pickle with it - because of the pond really which I built on a whim during the first lockdown!

    Which does everyone prefer - the lawn line ending at the front or back edge of the pond?

  • Loraine3Loraine3 Posts: 571
    Back edge of the pond looks nicer. Don't worry about future occupants of your property they will probably trash everything you do anyway, do what you want which pleases you.
    You only have to watch programmes like Homes under the Hammer to see what happens to pretty gardens.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,107
    edited October 2021

    Dove I 100% agree with you, I've just somehow got myself into a pickle with it - because of the pond really which I built on a whim during the first lockdown!

    Which does everyone prefer - the lawn line ending at the front or back edge of the pond?

    Your pond is a circle ....  I would use it as the basis for your lawn shapes, .... mirror the shape of the pond with interlinked/overlapping circles of different sizes ... a large one in the foreground and a smaller one to the back of the garden ... you could even have a paved or gravel section of a circle between the two, with the pond intersecting it to take out an arc ...  that way it will all look 'intentional' rather than a mish mash of unrelated decisions made at different times  :)

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,943
    Of your two options, l would definitely say back of the pond, incorporating it makes it seem as if it is part of a whole rather than a design feature on it's own. 
    Remember that if a young family eventually bought the property many of them would fill the pond in anyway, and for now it is your garden to live in and love.

    It may sound counter intuitive, but there comes a point when you have to bite the bullet and just go for it,rather than over think it. Beds can be extended or re turfed, curves can be made bigger or smaller, areas that don't work can be changed. It's (hopefully) a long term project and gardens are forever being tweaked. 
    I don't know how you're planning to mark things out in real life (hosepipe and bamboo canes ?) but weather permitting this weekend l would make a start. Set it out, go upstairs and have a look, go back and alter it and repeat. You will be extremely fit by the end, so l advise tea or coffee and biscuits of choice  :)
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,498
    Definitely option 2. In my sketch I pushed the pond too far down the garden.
    Rutland, England
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,364
    Option 2 for me too, although I also like option 3 of the previous designs.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
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