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

Keep Reading

Next Up

Types of Family-Friendly Lawn Designs

These family-friendly lawn designs will encourage you to think creatively when filling your outside grass and garden spaces, making it a beautiful space for the whole family to enjoy.

Lay a Chamomile Lawn

A fragrant, soothing alternative to grass is quick and easy to install.

Types of Artificial Turf

Learn more about how to use artificial turf with these tips for creatively designing your outside grass and garden spaces.

Ideas for Groundcover Alternatives to Grass

Discover alternatives to traditional grass with these creative groundcover landscaping ideas.

Ideas for Sculpting Turf

Learn how to take your lawn up a notch with these beautiful ideas for sculpting and reshaping your grass and garden spaces.

How to Plan and Design Your Lawn

Learn how to plan and design your outdoor grass and garden spaces with these landscaping tips.

Garden Landscaping Design Ideas

Create attractive gardens with easy garden landscaping design ideas.

Garden Design With Bamboo and Ornamental Grasses

Spruce up your garden design with the addition of colorful bamboo and fresh, airy ornamental grasses.

Caladium

This summer bulb has a wide range of colors and performs well in the shade.

Creative Landscaping Ideas

These mix-and-match landscape designs spark nontraditional creative ideas for your outdoor grass and garden spaces.

1,000+ Photos

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

On TV

Texas Flip and Move

6:30am | 5:30c

Rehab Addict

7:30am | 6:30c

Rehab Addict

8:30am | 7:30c

Rehab Addict

9:30am | 8:30c

Rehab Addict

10am | 9c

Rehab Addict

10:30am | 9:30c

Rehab Addict

11am | 10c

Rehab Addict

11:30am | 10:30c

House Hunters

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Home Town

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

Home Town

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

Home Town

1am | 12c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Follow Us Everywhere

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