By: Garden Gate staff
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All about bed shapes!
Beds and borders break up large spaces, making them more intimate, and their shapes influence your yard as much as what’s planted in them — geometric shapes are more formal, and organic ones, like the border here, are informal.
The relaxed curves in this garden are the hallmark of an organic shape. They slow down the eye, encourage visitors to move leisurely as they travel through and make for a relaxing experience.
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Getting a natural look
Beds with nearly no shape resemble what you find in nature. At first glance, the borders on the left do seem almost shapeless. But look closely and you’ll spot organic, gently curving shapes.
If you’re a plant collector and have just one specimen here and there, they’ll look good in organic beds and borders, playing off of the casual, unstructured feel.
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Squares, triangles, circles and rectangles are all geometric shapes that are easy for the eye to recognize — they’re familiar, so your mind can read them quickly.
In fact, your eye probably zipped down the edges of these rectangular beds, right to the gate in the distance. Letting a few plants billow onto the brick path softens the geometric lines, slows the eye and gives you a chance to enjoy the beautiful blooms.
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Stick with just a few geometric shapes in any garden spot. Too many will look confusing, and your eye will have trouble combining what’s usually easy to understand.
The repeating squares in this garden have a dramatic look, especially when viewed from above. When you’re standing in the garden, hedges work to emphasize the shapes.