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Past Articles Library | Gardening Design | 8 Basic Principles - Line

8 Basic Principles of Landscape Design - Part 6 of 8

This month we continue with part 6 - having already gone over 5 of the 8 concepts that most professional landscape designers use.

If you have missed any of the previous 5 articles, they were: Unity, Simplicity, Transition, Balance, and Color.

This month we continue with:

LINE - Principle 6 of 8

Line is one of the more structural principles of landscape design and it is one of the easiest to work with. Line is generally related to the way your eye moves and flows around the landscape such as how garden beds, walkways, and entryways move and flow with one another.

It's often reflected in the way paths and beds are arranged and fit together, but a more subtle line can also be created by changes in plant heights or the shapes and directions of their branches.

Straight Lines

Lines in any landscape that are straight, or perpendicular, give a more forceful, direct, and structured feel to the area. They direct the eye right to the next focus. They say plainly what you want, like the straight line of a stairway, it tells you, "Go this way."

Wavy Lines

Wavy or curved lines have a more natural, gentle, flowing effect. A curved line tends to be more smooth and free flowing and create a more relaxed, natural movement for a more relaxed landscape effect. It tends to "invite" you through the garden instead of "directing" you.

Think About It

When laying out your landscape think how you want the line to move people through the environment you are creating. Do you want more structure, or do you want a more relaxed experience for yourself and visitors? That's what so fun about design, these choices are all up to you!


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