Ideas for a rectangular garden


Tired of looking at four straight lines? See these before and after photos for ideas on how to break up that geometry

Many of us will have been dealt the same hand when it comes to our gardens: a square or rectangular plot. It's a very common shape, but it isn't always obvious what can be done to bring these spaces to life.
This is where it can pay to enlist the help of a garden professional, who will look at your boxy patch with expert eyes and, instead of lines, see winding paths, an unexpected pond, a curved lawn... Check out these before and after transformations for inspiration. Before PhotoPaul Richards Garden DesignEmailSaveAdd in mystery
How do you go from a thin patch of scrappy lawn to a lush, wildlife-enticing garden with multiple zones? Enter garden designer Paul Richards of Paul Richards Garden Design, who pulled off just such a transformation.

"[The garden] had been a boring grass rectangle with a narrow border up each side," he says. "The owners wanted a series of places to sit, lots of interest, and something to garden. So my challenge was to create a number of different areas in what is quite a small plot, and for all of them to feel like little enclosed spaces."

Can you believe this is the same plot?
"Because it's a fairly long, thin garden, we wanted to make it feel like a series of spaces," Paul explains. Key to the clever design is a winding pathway, which takes people on a journey through different areas, each with its own view.
"There's quite a lot of height in the planting as well," he adds. "That was deliberate, so that, as you look down the garden, you don't see the whole thing. You have to walk through it to find out what's there."

Stay ahead with a curve
A winding route was also key to the transformation of this angular plot.

Designer Fiona Green, of Green Tree Garden Designs, created a series of circular lawns connected by a winding path that allows the homeowners to take a slow walk through their outdoor space, enjoying the pretty planting as they go.
Fiona used a tight circle motif to make the garden seem larger. Three round lawns are bordered by paths created with sandstone sets mortared into place.
Get more inspiration from the makeover of this garden.