Landscaping an unusually shaped property can be difficult, but not impossible. With a little design help, the right plants and some hard work, an unconventional yard can be transformed into a yard with gorgeous curb appeal. The trick is to draw the viewer’s eye away from the lot’s weaknesses to highlighted accents. Here are several tips for odd-shaped yards.
Long lot side to side, but shallow front to back. Assuming the house is centered, design the lawn into a kidney bean shape from left to right, with the recessed part of the bean toward the street. In that recessed portion, plant a flower garden. This design brings the attention to the center front of the lot where the eye starts with the flowerbed and naturally rises to the house behind it.
Long lot front to back, narrow side to side. Install flowerbeds along both sides, but not in straight lines. Rather, curve the borders, slightly flared at the street, narrowed in the middle and flared again at the house. Cultivate a lush green lawn in a parabolic shape in the center. This will hide the long, “shotgun” shape of the lot, making it appear wider.
Shapes with acute corners. You may have some odd geometric shape that creates sharp corner recesses. Fill and soften those sharp angles with a large corner flowerbed. Have tall plants, even an ornamental tree in the very back, followed by medium height shrubs in front of the tree and flowers in front of those. The sharp corner will disappear behind lush beauty.
Corner lots. The pressure to impress is doubled with a corner lot, because your house faces two streets from which to deliver curb appeal. Lovely flowerbeds and blooming shrubs along the front and sides, coupled with lush lawns wrapping the house create a manicured, stately look. Ornamental trees along the side yard add privacy. To discourage pedestrians from cutting the corner across your yard, build a corner flowerbed, perhaps combined with ornamental rock at the point where the two sidewalks intersect.
Shared driveway. Sometimes houses close to one another have a shared driveway to a midpoint, which then diverges into a “Y” to each house. To create separation between houses, create a bed inside the “Y” with an ornamental tree and blooming shrubs and bedding plants.
Sloped lots. Challenging shapes occur vertically too, when you have a house sitting atop a sloped lot. Dividing the hillside into tiers using landscape timbers helps to break up a looming expanse of lawn. Flowerbeds with ground cover add color and depth. In a backyard, a tiered deck works beautifully with a cascading look down the slope.
Flag lots. Along the long narrow driveway, consider planting a blooming groundcover in curving beds that de-emphasize the straightness of the drive. On the flag portion of the lot, design lush flowerbeds and lawn to create a showpiece for visitors who have made the long trek down the driveway.