Types of Formal Lawn Designs

These formal lawn designs will encourage you to think creatively when filling your outside grass and garden spaces.

Highly manicured lawns may require a high degree of maintenance, but the effect can be stunning. In these gardens the formal lawn is the centerpiece around which the rest of the design flows.

Geometric Patterns

The central feature of this formal design is a line of lawn squares that lead up to three turf-lined steps. Breaking up the grass with pebble pathways gives the effect of elongating the garden, making the space feel larger than it really is. The green squares of lawn are framed by formal blocks of muted, soft yellow and blue herbaceous plants, which complement them. The garden is attractively framed with regimented, pleached lime trees along the side.

Framing With Topiary

One of the best reasons to use lawns in a garden design is that they have the ability to unify areas of the garden, giving outdoor spaces a constancy and allowing a garden to flow from one area of interest to another. In this garden grass is used as both a pathway leading to the sundial focal point, but also as a wider expanse of lawn in the background. The topiaried boxwood hedges frame the space and give it symmetry.

Bordered Lawn

This garden uses a striking striped formal lawn as the centerpiece of the design. The curved shape is bordered with traditional English-garden plants that help to showcase the grass to its best advantage. The circular design is echoed by the curve of the rustic walls while the wider than average stripes on the lawn give the garden a sense of width. The long meadow grass in the background highlights the difference between the formality within the design and the informality outside the walled space.

Backyard Paradise

Backyard Paradise

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover , 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Formal Focal Points

The stripes on this lawn lead the eye to the end of the garden where the impressive water feature forms the focal point. Formal lawns are nearly always symmetrical, and the stripes create the illusion that the lawn is longer than it actually is. The flowerbeds are traditional mixed borders with drifts of planting, both framing and contrasting with the formality of the grass. The grass of a formal lawn like this would need to be cut at least twice a week with a high quality cylinder mower.

Formal Garden with Fountain

Formal Garden with Fountain

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover , 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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