How to design your garden lawn
Your lawn is often the focal point in your garden so one should consider its shape and design carefully. Deciding what your lawns main uses are is probably the most important aspect in the design stages, maybe you require a dining or play area in which case a rectangular shape may be suited or your main concern could be maintaining an attractive appearance, in which case opting for an open or free-flowing lawn would more suited.
Ultimately, the best design for your lawn is determined by its use, surrounding landscape, its appearance, and your desired maintenance level.
For those looking for a little inspiration we’ve put together the ultimate guide for choosing the perfect lawn shape and some design ideas to add a little creative touch…
Choosing the perfect shape
A circular lawn makes a strong visual statement and is often first choice for someone looking for a formal looking lawn. Often more suited to small spaces, a circle lawn can be very attractive however one of the most important aspects is ensuring the circle is perfect. For those with a larger space, try linking two or three circles together.
Rectangular lawns are best for those who enjoy entertaining and play. Its rectangular shape also makes for easy maintenance and those with a creative touch can add mowing patterns very easily to this type of lawn design. Rectangular lawns are usually neat and great for larger spaces, overlapping this shape would also add depth and charm to your lawn.
A free-flowing lawn adds a little bit of mystery to a garden as you can’t always see all areas of the garden at one time. This shape also allows you to make mini-gardens and often gives a much large appearance over all the other lawn shapes.
An open lawn is perfect for those looking for an informal garden and is considered the most relaxed shape of all lawn designs. This shapes lends its self well to gardens with lots of trees that will help shape the garden. A great choice for those who do lots of entertaining and outdoor recreation.
Lawn design ideas
Adding a stripe to your lawn is relatively simple. All you need is a lawn mower with a rear roller, like some of those in the Flymo rotary lawn mower range.
Typically, rear rollers are found on rotary lawn mowers. Stripes are added to the lawn by flattening and bending the grass as you cut the grass. This in turn, changes the angle at which the light reflects off the grass blade, giving the impression that the grass is a different colour.
The colour that the stripe appears is dependent on how far you bend the blades of grass. The further you bend and flatten the grass, the darker and more intense the colour of the stripe will appear. Because the colour of the stripes is created by reflecting light, the colour may look different depending on where you are standing in the garden.
To achieve a perfectly striped lawn, you first need to consider the direction of the stripes you want? Do you want them horizontally or vertically? Do you want the first stripe to be light or dark? Once you know this you will know where to start mowing the lawn.
For gardens where it is difficult to turn the lawn mower at either end of the garden, it may be beneficial to first cut around the perimeter of the garden to get an even cut and a nicer looking lawn. When adding the first stripe to your lawn, ensure you are at right angles to the perimeter. Use an object like a fence etc. as a rough guide. When you get to the end of the lawn, turn your lawn mower around and come back in the opposite direction.
When adding new stripes, try and overlap the previous stripe slightly. This will help ensure that you do not miss any patches of grass and that may spoil the look of your lawn. Try and use the same overlap distance for each stripe to make sure your stripes are equal in width. Use something obvious as a guide.
To add a wider stripe to your lawn simply go down your second stripe again in the same direction as the previous line to ensure the grass is bent in the same direction. If you cut the grass regularly and add stripes, you must remember to alternate the mowing direction every couple of weeks. Failure to do this will encourage uneven and indirect growth, which may affect the look and feel of your lawn.
Checkerboard stripe patterns
Once you have the hang of stripes and patterns in your garden, it’s easy to create other designs such as the checkerboard. To start, mow the perimeter neatly around your garden. Next, mow the lawn in different directions taking care at the end of each row to prevent any turf damage. Now travel perpendicular to the direction of the original pattern, meaning if you were mowing North and South, this time mow East and West. Finally, mow the perimeter again to remove any stripe irregularities and complete the pattern with a clean look.
Zig-zag stripe patterns
The template for the zig-zag pattern is formed by firstly completing the checkerboard pattern. Select a “light stripe” towards the centre of the checkerboard area and travel across one of the intersecting "dark" stripes and onto the next "light stripe. Turn the mower, while on the "light" stripe 90 degrees to the right. Move forward, across the next "dark" stripe, onto the "light" stripe and carefully turn the lawn mower 90 degrees to the left. Repeat this as you move across the area. When you reach the end of the area you are striping, repeat this procedure on the "light" coloured stripe next to the zig-zag path you just mowed. Finally repeat. Complete the job by mowing the perimeter again to deliver a clean professional look.