Bigger Is Not Always Better

Need landscaping ideas for a huge yard? These big-space garden design strategies will get you started.

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Large and Rectangular

Large and Rectangular

The appeal of this garden is its simplicity. A rectangular lawn provides a foil for the exuberant planting to either side, and draws the focus toward the pond and archway.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

If you’re feeling a bit daunted by the thought of designing a large garden, don’t be! The trick is to decide whether you want to retain a sense of openness, or close things up and create intrigue by designing a series of smaller garden rooms. 

Draw a rough sketch of your garden, photocopy it lots of times, and then just draw very simple lines on it. Remember that flowing lines give an informal appearance, while rigid crosses are more formal. Think, too, about how your lines and shapes will move you around the garden. Sharp corners are uncomfortable; gentle changes in direction are best. Use strong shapes to create a focus, and bold planting along the perimeters, to prevent your yard from resembling a field. 

A few large garden-design possibilities: 

  • A large oval lawn can create an open area that celebrates the feeling of space. 
  • Make a grid out of a series of interlocking squares and rectangles; shrubs and trees planted around the perimeter focus the eye into the center. 
  • The S-curve is frequently used in contemporary garden design. It flows rhythmically, exploring the center and the edges of the garden, and creating areas for planting or hard landscaping. By partially blocking the view around each curve with plants or screens, you can also build a sense of mystery to draw the visitor in. Also, a meandering lawn links different areas of the garden, and doubles the length of the walkway through the yard. Creating a “period” at the end of a line (with a patio, for example) ensures that a visitor has a reason to travel through the space.

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