Working out what to do with your L-shaped garden can be a bit of a struggle, especially if it’s small. Do you create two separate garden areas or keep them as a whole?
Maybe you’ve caught yourself wondering where the best place in the garden is for your garden dining set or feature bench.
We can help. Most people aren’t certified landscape designers, but you can take a few tips from us to make the most of your space and create the garden of your dreams. Trust us, it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think.
1. Consider The Sun
To make the best out of your garden, you’ll need to consider where the garden gets the most sun in the morning, at noon, and in the evening.
Why is this important? Because that will influence where you place certain things in your garden.
For example, if you want a bench to sit and enjoy your morning coffee on, then you’ll need an early sunny spot, preferably with a view of most of the garden.
If you want a space for outside dining, then you’ll need to position a patio where it’ll get afternoon and evening sun, so you can use it for dinner and barbecue lunches in the summer.
It can be especially helpful to take a good look at which part of the garden gets sun at what time of day with L-shaped backyards since the house is likely to cast a significant part of the yard in shade at any given time.
2. Use Circles In Your Design
Circles are your best friend in landscaping, especially if you have a small space. Alternating circular patios with circular sections of lawn or gravel can really make a small garden look longer and broader, too.
This also gives you plenty of choice about what should go where in the garden.
Put a circular patio for your bistro set with the sun movement in mind, and place your lawn sections where it’s not going to get full sun in the afternoon.
That way, it won’t get so scorched. You can have more than one circular section of lawn, but it’ll look very well-designed if there’s something more contemporary between the two grass patches.
3. Corners Are Your Friends
The best thing about an L-shaped garden is that you have so many more corners to work with. Landscape designers love corners because they provide such opportunities.
Don’t envy those with square or rectangular yards. They won’t have the beautiful angles like your yard does. So, what can do you do with corners?
Put anything you’ll want to look at in them.
When you look at a garden space, our eyes are first drawn to whatever takes up the middle of it, then next, the corners and lastly, the eye will look at the lengths between the corners.
Things you could choose to put in garden corners are evergreen shrubs, fountains, sculptures, an L-shaped fishpond, or a small patio with potted plants.
Utilizing the corners of your garden between the borders will make the garden seem like it has hidden depths. Adding a terrace-style opening between palms and shrubs will make it seem like a tiny secret garden.
Add a wooden pergola to create the best little garden nook for quietly sitting and observing the calm landscape. (picture source)
Another thing to consider is what you can see, from various points in the garden.
If a part of the garden is hidden from you when you stand just outside your back door, then that would be the place to put a vegetable or herb garden if you want one.
It’s less convenient for your kitchen garden, but it will never be an eyesore either.
Vegetable patches can look quite bleak in the wintertime, and so they’re not an ideal feature to be presented with when you’re out in your garden.
The best viewpoint to see all your garden will be in the corner away from your house where the two rectangles meet. From here, you should be able to see to both ends of your L-shaped yard.
This will be the ideal place for a seating area like a modern rattan L-shaped lounge set on a small patio. Make sure that wherever you place seating areas, that the view is good and is of the best parts of the garden.
5. Make A Path
Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and creating a pathway is a clever way to make an L-shaped garden look more together rather than sectioned off.
You are physically connecting one part to the other with something long.
That will encourage the eye to see the garden as long, too. Just like if you were to wear vertical stripes. It makes you look taller and thinner.
You don’t have to make a fuss of it, but sinking small stepping stones into the lawn parts of the garden in a meandering pattern, will help the garden to come together conceptually.
Don’t place stepping stones on top of the grass, as this will make mowing the lawn a nightmare.
Simply dig the shape with a spade and remove the grass and topsoil until the stones sink snugly in the lawn.
You don’t need to create a special path through the paved sections, just begin the path again on the other side in whatever section comes after, such as gravel or grass. (picture source)
6. Thin The Border Flower Beds
It’s quite usual in any shaped garden to edge the lengths of it with borders. That’s perfectly fine to do in an L-shaped garden and plant what you like in them.
We only mention it because if the border beds are deep, particularly on the long sides of the garden, it can make the yard look unnecessarily thin or misshaped.
It’s also rather easy for it to look like the plant beds are taking over in an L-shaped garden.
We recommend that you steer clear of putting tall shrubs in the flower beds of the longest sides since if these become overgrown or droop over, it can make the space in the garden (either lawn or patio) seem small and like the shrubs have taken over.
Keeping shrubs in the borders under control and at a lower than shoulder level height, where possible, will make your yard appear to be much more open and wide.