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Design with repetition

By: Garden Gate staff
Make designing your garden easier by repeating elements: a favorite plant, a color you can't get enough of or even shape and texture. See four easy ways to use it in your garden.

Why use just one when you can use many? Repetition works in both small and large gardens by keeping a space from feeling overwhelming or tying separate beds and areas together. It’s fine to have many colors and a lot going on. But repeating a couple of plants, colors or elements gives the garden structure and keeps it from looking messy or chaotic. Get inspired with these four examples.


Continue color

Although the colorful bed in this photo has several different shrubs and perennials, the edge gives it a finished look. Repeated red begonias and chartreuse hakonechloa echo the color of the shrubs and the clay-red door. It also moves your eye down the edge of the border toward the steps and the entrance.


Repeat texture

The bright color and the similar shape of the orange containers pictured here are the first “layer” of repetition. Then take it a step further with succulent plants in each one. Not exactly the same, but they are plants with a very similar look and feel.


Duplicate shape

Here's an obvious repetition: Round shapes. But all the round plants aren’t the same size, which adds a lot of visual interest. To repeat the theme, the containers are all terra-cotta and most are round, too.



Even your furniture and hardscaping can get in on the act. The bluestone patio pictured here has shades of pale gray-green and red. These wide, flat, pale gray-green chairs match the shape and texture of the patio. Touches of terra-cotta in the chiminea and the containers pick up the reddish tints in some of the stones.

Published: March 27, 2018

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