The mornings are icy, the nights are still drawing in early and the ground remains too hard for digging, but if you’re a dedicated gardener you’re likely already looking forward to spring. This time of year is perfect for gathering inspiration, planning big gardening projects and researching all the wonderful plants that will bring life to your outdoors over the coming months.
However, some gardeners have one particular obstacle standing in the way of their creative abandon. It’s something that demands extra ingenuity and a little adventurous thinking – the awkwardly-shaped garden. If this challenge seems familiar and your garden has slopes, angles and misshapen corners in the most awkward of places, read on. We’ve pulled together five excellent ways to ensure even the most strangely laid out garden looks its beautiful best in 2016.
- Cleverly designed decking
Split-level decking is your go-to if you’ve got an impossibly sloped garden. By levelling off the slope, the decking provides you with a series of areas you can work in more comfortably, potentially including steps that provide a great place for pots of herbs to rest. Adorned with beautiful ceramic pots, a relaxed seating area, a sandpit for the kids or whatever else you fancy, decking is a fabulous choice for a sloped garden.
- On the right path
If your problem is a long, narrow garden, use smooth pebble or gravel paths to break up the length and create defined sections. Or, how about old-fashioned stepping stones? Interspersed with careful planting, these can create a charming ambiance. You can achieve the same ‘sectioning off’ effect using turfed areas, raised beds, areas of paving or a mix of all three.
- Make a statement
Statement features draw the attention, creating a visual distraction from weird shapes and dark corners. It may be a stunning sundial or a spherical sculpture that doubles as a water feature, but make it bold and make it beautiful. No matter how unconventionally-shaped your garden is, it still deserves to be stylishly adorned.
- Small but perfectly formed
Sometimes a garden’s awkwardness is down to its diminutive size. If you’ve got a tiny garden, think vertically and cover every available space with lovely climbers and pops of bright colour. Eye-catching outdoor art, hanging baskets, good lighting and fold-away furniture are all great ways to breathe life into small spaces.
Out of sight…
…out of mind. Sometimes there’s a corner that’s just too awkward to be made attractive. If you’ve got one of these, put it to practical use. Have a custom-made shelter built for bikes or bins and solve two problems for the price of one. Plant clematis, antique roses or other sweet-smelling, trailing vines at its base and ramp up the prettiness levels.
There’s no reason why an unusually shaped garden shouldn’t give you as much pleasure as one with more traditional perimeters. With a little thought, some clever design and a good dose of creative flair, you can enjoy your garden to the full, and even relish its rebellious shape.