Different Ways to Utilise Lawn

As a landscape designer I ask and discuss with my clients the preparation of a wish list of items they would like to see in their new garden. 99% of lists have a lawn in there for entertaining, children playing, sunbathing or simply because they like the look of it! Lawns are a great tool in creating the perfect garden design no matter the style of garden.

I love a lawn as a practical space, a space that you can see yourself using but I also love a lawn for the breathing space it gives a garden. A lawn works well as a contrast to a more textured and layered garden bed like one of those films where the lead actor and support are equally as good as one another.

Often when people try to design their own garden, they try to fit too many things in at once and it feels cluttered. A great way to combat this is to start with your lawn and pick the spot in the garden that is the most suited to the variety you are growing, more often than not this the sunniest most free draining area of your property. From this lawn you can easily build the rest of your garden out around from this.

I love a formal lawn in a design, squares, rectangles and even circles are perfect shapes for a formal lawn, and they allow you to start your design with a structured element to work from. These shapes will set the tone for the whole garden and their simplicity works to draw you into the space. By having simple shapes when it comes to maintenance you get crisp edges and can even incorporate striping via a cylinder mower to take your garden to the next level.

If you prefer a freer flowing naturalistic design style a lawn is the perfect filler between your garden beds, bringing a breathing space, a moment of clam before the riot of planting in the surrounding beds. Curves in the lawn work well to direct the traffic around the garden, creating a soft pathway that should be walked barefoot to engage with the garden on all senses.

Lawn turfs make a great cost effective and soft pathway around a garden, as long as they get sufficient light to perform well. I like to use a grass walkway around a garden and have the centre of the garden filled with perennials. This may seem counterintuitive however the perennials will stand taller and more upright with the extra sun they receive in the centre of the garden and the lawn makes a delightful boarder to walk around on to observe.

Lawn also makes the perfect surrounding to a swimming pool as it accentuates the flat surface of the water giving the effect of a larger space. Grass never gets too hot so its excellent to walk on barefoot and sunbath on. If designing a lawn around a pool make sure you have a sufficiently dimensioned coping stone to stop and clippings flying into the pool when you mow the grass.

When it comes to selecting the right variety of grass for your garden design it is important to carry the theme of the garden design through to your selection. It’s the small details that will make the design a successful one. For a formal design getting the right leaf texture is key so you want to use something fine like Sir Grange Zoysia as it has a luscious deep green and soft fine texture leaf so is perfect but if you are in a low water area TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda will be more successful in the long run so a better choice whilst maintaining the fine formal leaf look. For more relaxed garden or those that will experience heavy traffic such as a play lawn Sir Walter DNA Certified is a great choice, as would the TifTuf be too. For a tropical garden, the wider leaf of the Buffalo will suit the bolder, more foliaged-based planting scheme.

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