Landscape This! Irregularly Shaped Yards

Learn how to embrace your garden's curves and quirks with these striking landscaping ideas.
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©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Kim Visokey

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Photo courtesy of BioNova Natural Pools.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Concrete Works

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Snakes and Curves

This small town garden shows how a flowing S-curve can extend and trick the eye into thinking the space is larger than it is. A circular pool slots perfectly into the first curve, forming a pleasing coupling of line and shape.

Fake It

With this trick, you can have a square lawn whether your yard likes it or not. Add shrubs, hedges and flowerbeds to fill space along the edges of your yard, leaving a square or rectangle center where you can plant grass or lay sod. 

Grow a Meadow

A wildflower corner is an ideal way to transform a neglected area of the garden. Most wildflowers will thrive in poor soil as long as they have sun and moisture.

Add a Sculpture

No matter your style, a piece of art in the garden always makes a statement. Try putting a statue or a sculpture in the middle of your yard to bring the attention into the center. 

Oval Sweep

The design for this five-cornered garden is based around an oval-shaped lawn in the center. This opens up the space, while the areas of planting help to disguise the inhospitable boundaries.

Use Water

This natural pool adds a refreshing element to this small space. Whether it's a pool or a pond, a water source will help your backyard look more natural.

L-Shaped Lawn

With its acute angles, this corner garden presents a very particular problem. The lawn and gravel areas create an essentially square central space, while beds hug the hard landscaping, deflecting the focus away from the awkward triangles.

L of a Design

Good-quality materials and different levels create interest in this wonderful garden. A series of rectangles links a narrow section with the main garden, and strikes a balance between plants and decking.

Shaped Patio

Fun S-shaped weaving through this yard, leads from the patio around to a half-hidden pavilion. Curved beds cut into the lawn, drawing the eye away from the difficult angles of the yard.

Step It Up

Winding pathways can always help offset awkward angles in an irregular yard, but adding steps or terracing—even in yards that aren't sloped—can help create dimension. Try landscaping your stairs or path with evergreens for color that lasts all year.

Use Rock

For odd corners and crevices, natural rock can create a great garden scene. Try adding a rock waterfall or a low-maintenance rock garden.

Linking Front and Side

Large, awkwardly-shaped gardens offer the ideal opportunity to create garden rooms. From the house, a large, curved lawn, with steps that lead down to a secluded area and a pavilion, while a vegetable garden is hidden behind the hedge.

Take Advantage of Pathways

A curvy, stepping-stone pathway lined with lush ornamental grasses and groundcovers looks natural and distracts attention away from the harsh angles in an irregularly-shaped yard.

Add a Water Feature

Create a focal point in your garden by adding a water feature like a pond or fountain. This can be especially useful in a finicky corner of a garden where planting is difficult—adding mulch, gravel or stone around the base of the fountain kicks the design up a notch and is low-maintenance. 

Plant a Tree

Whether planted in a pot or in the ground, trees can serve as beautiful focal points.