Garden Design: Increasing Proportions

Too-tiny features in a big backyard (and vice versa) can make for awkward garden design. HGTV shows you how to strike just the right balance in this garden makeover.
From: DK Books - Design Your Garden
Blank Canvas

Blank Canvas

Photo by: DK - Design Your Garden © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Design Your Garden, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Focal points are an important part of a successful garden design. They direct the eye and add instant drama, but to do so they have to be of the right size to make a statement. 

In this garden, the focal point is a terracotta urn set in front of a beautifully clipped hedge, but because it’s so tiny in relation to the space, it leaves you with a feeling of anticlimax. 

The owners of this garden obviously like formality, and the space would benefit from something over-the-top, and maybe a bit humorous. 

Sketch Showcases Eastern Inspired Garden Plan

Sketch Showcases Eastern Inspired Garden Plan

Photo by: DK - Design Your Garden © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Design Your Garden, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Here's how this yard could achieve a better sense of proportion:

  • The addition of an Indian-style temple and seat are fun, yet formal notes to hit, and hint at exotic Eastern architecture.
  • A rectangular pool stretches out in front of the temple, reflecting its elegant shape and form. The pool also creates a great sense of perspective as the eye travels along it to the temple at the end.
  • Italian cypresses are used to add height and frame the temple, giving it extra prominence.
  • Two spheres clipped into the hedge frame the scene. Features are balanced and in proportion to the size and scale of the yard.

Next Up

Yard Makeover: Design for a Sloping L-Shaped Garden

With a little landscaping love, this uneven, exposed garden gets a dining space and some privacy.

Yard Makeover: Design Plan for a Large Garden With a Sea View

This wraparound yard gets a landscape design worthy of its size and seaside location.

Design of Outdoor Spaces Just as Important as Inside

Master gardener Maureen Gilmer gives tips on designing a great outdoor space.

Yard Makeover: Design for a Rectangular Garden

A long, skinny backyard gets a stylish new landscape design.

Outdoor Living Spaces: Ideas for Outdoor Rooms

Learn about options and ideas for outdoor rooms and outdoor living spaces.

Vern's Design Tips: The Longest Yard

In episode seven, the Design Stars work as a team to make over a 10,000-square-foot backyard. See what Vern says they did right, did wrong and how he could have done it better.

Candice's Design Tips: The Longest Yard

In episode seven, the Design Stars work as a team to make over a 10,000-square-foot backyard. See what Candice says they did right, did wrong and how she could have done it better.

Designing Outdoor Spaces

Give clients exactly what they want with these nine tips.

Planning Your Outdoor Space

A master plan that incorporates everything from long-range projects to nitty-gritty details will help you design the backyard of your dreams.

Garden Mazes Create a Sense of Wonder

Explore the art of maze and labyrinth makers.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.