Forum home Garden design

Help with ideas

I have a garden that was very overgrown when I moved in.  I've succeeded in cutting it all back pretty heavily, and now is the fun part.  I want to get the lawn and patio relaid so I can get planting.

I'd love to get your opinions on which design to go with.

My dilemmas...

  • Rectangular patio or curved (I prefer curves, but if the lawn is curved maybe patio better as a rectangle)
  • Circular lawn or oblong / curved
  • Use brick lawn edging or leave natural?
  • Path around the edge (better?), or through the middle (uses less space and cheaper)

I've gone back and forth so many times.  Out of the following can you tell me which you like best, and why.  Or if you dont like any what would you do?

Thanks so much!!

My garden now:





 My designs.  Which do you like best, and why?  Or if none, how would you do it?  I'd really welcome any ideas.  Thanks so much!


Option A


Option B - Same but with path through lawn


Option C - Oblong lawn








  • I'm utterly no expert, but for me, I'd go for Option C - I wouldn't put a path around the edge as it's not where you would naturally walk to get from the house to the shed, so you'd never use it anyway and end up tramping across the lawn. 

    I also prefer the shape of the lawn in C, as it's a bit more natural than the circular ones (and to my lazy mind, would need less careful edging to keep looking good image ). I guess it depends on the style of your planting though, as to whether you're going for a very structural contemporary look or a more natural cottage garden style?

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949
    I adore option b. The path through the middle is practical and the shape makes a nice bold statement which can always be softened with planting should you find it too harsh.
  • darren636darren636 Posts: 666
    Personally, I'd do with the design that maximizes planting area depth
  • adamadamantadamadamant Posts: 152

    B or C for me - the path going through the middle of the lawn is a good idea as it means you wont compact the ground as you follow a natural route to the other end of the garden (as I know to my cost).  I think circular lawns are nice as they maximise your planting area, but it might be difficult to keep the shape over the years as you cut the edge, so gentle curves might be better?

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 24,692

    I'd avoid any path, especially "stepping stones, aaargg"  to be honest. They look  ugly given that you'll not always be walking from A to B, you're unlikely to cause any significant damage.

    The path is A , I'd have to say is the most impractical way of getting across the garden and I can't imagine you'd ever walk its length.

    The second circular lawn in A and B  is too close the the fence at the top creating , what my lecturer at college would have circled in red and written " nasty little triangle" what would  you plant at that very narrow part where lawn meets border meets fence.

    I'm afraid this exercise is showing up the failings of computer design programmes. 

    A consultation with a professional garden designer might be a better option to start. 

    Let us know what you decide and keep the photos coming, it's a great plot.

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 7,953

    Not A.

    On the plan, the garden looks quit long and thin, in which case, partially dividing it, as in B, with some large plants where the circles come together, might be good.

    I would keep the path, but make it "proper", not stepping stones.

    What fun you are going to have.

    Somewhere in my heart
    There is a star that shines for you
    Silver splits the blue
    Love will see it through
  • dominomandominoman Posts: 150

    Thanks so much everyone!  It's really really helpful to get opinions.

    It sounds like most people quite like the circles (I think I do), and I can soften them with bold planting if I need to, especially where they narrow in the centre.  Keeping them circular should be aided by having some brick edging, like this:


    The path in Option A isn't popular!  I will instead go for a path across the lawn, or perhaps no path at all to start with?  

    The sketches I've drawn are just quick ones in powerpoint - so excuse their messiness.  I've done paper ones but I find it easier in Powerpoint so I can keep changing it.

    More opinions please!  It's so helpful. Thanks image


  • I like b and c, think about anything you might add and need to get to before finalising the path plan, compost area, bench, bird feeders etc.

  • dominomandominoman Posts: 150

    I love standing at my kitchen window looking down the garden, even now.  So I added the idea of a birdbath and bird feeders quite near the window on the right hand side.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 19,993

    Basic design B is best but smaller circles of lawn to get greater planting depth.  Maybe a pergola and/or trellis and an arch across the garden where the circles meet.  This entices people to go and see what is beyond and gives the opportunity for climbing roses/clematis/honeysuckles etc.

    Don't do stepping stones.  If you have a path, make it a proper one and make it inviting or you'll just end up taking the direct route across the lawn.

    Don't put big trees so close to the house, especially birch which is short lived and shallow rooted and may fall the wrong way in high winds.  Put the plum nearer the pea gravel area to make fruit picking easy and maybe some soft fruit such as tayberry, blackberry etc on the garage area trellis.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
Sign In or Register to comment.