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Line functions in the landscaping design similar to bread crumbs in the forest. Line and bread crumbs can lead you …

… home, to a focal point.

The outlines of masses in your garden – trees, hedges, hillsides, paths, groups of shrubs, lawn edges, structures – form lines with their flow of direction. These lines can travel in the following ways:

  • Vertical – suggests stability and permanence and can be created by the main body of most trees.
  • Horizontal – these lines are created by the tops of fences and some tree limbs, quite often found with specimen trees, and suggest rest and repose.
  • Diagonal – a hillside can create this line for a feeling of movement.
  • Curving – the lines found most often in nature. Winding paths and curved planting beds are examples.

Straight lines lead the eye to a focal point in a dramatic way and are used in formal garden styles.

Remember that path to a focal point that we spoke of earlier on in our focal point section? For a formal garden the path would be straight and lead directly to the focal point that might be placed in a symmetrical arrangement of shapes.

Curved lines lead the eye in a softer way and are used in the landscaping design of natural style gardens. In this landscaping idea, that path would gently curve and flow up to a focal point.

When working with line, however, remember that too many cooks spoil the soup. Too many lines going in different directions can make a landscaping idea busy and complicated. However, if all the lines go the same way, the result isn’t very interesting.

Now, just as a pretty face has good bone structure, a beautiful garden needs appropriate...

read on. . .