Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
Lines in the landscape pull the garden together by threading and organizing views today on Southern Gardening.
Lines help to guide both your feet and hands through the garden, drawing attention to points of interest. Lines can be created using fences and planting beds. Paths are permanent lines that ease movement through the garden. There are two types of garden lines.
Straight lines are typically used in formal gardens that use geometric shapes and are symmetrically balanced. In fact the formal garden is arranged around the straight lines. Focal points are placed at intersections of paths creating resting places for the eyes and limiting views of other parts of the garden. Flower beds repeat path lines and encourage visitors to hurry along to the next point of interest.
An informal garden is composed of curvy lines and not symmetrical in balance. Focal points are tucked into bends of the path leading to a sense of curiosity and discovery. Flower beds mirror the curvy path lines. Plant material should have rising and falling edges that spill out of the beds and onto the paths.
Wide and curvy paths persuade you to linger and take in more of the surroundings. But what if your home has a more formal design and you want a more natural garden look. You mix the two line types of course. Try a formal entrance area followed by the informal.
Making your landscape look natural is worthwhile, but using lines to make it feel natural is paradise. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.