What shapes can do for your garden!

Different tastes

My neighbour and I have very different ideas about what a beautiful garden should look like. His is immaculate. His plants, trees and shrubs are all carefully pruned and maintained and they each stand in their own circle, with the ground around them perfectly raked. Personally, I prefer a more natural garden, with everything all bunched cheerfully together and somewhere in between, a flash of beautiful purple campanula flowers. It’s so handy, as this pretty spreading plant creates great ground cover, meaning less space for weeds to grow, or for the neighbour’s cat to go digging. So yes, it’s in major contrast to my neighbour’s garden.

Strong shapes

As I described in my earlier blog ‘Add some humour to your garden’, my neighbour keeps a close eye on my gardening efforts. He good-naturedly gives me tips about how I can best keep my natural garden under control. By using shapes, for instance, as every shape creates a different effect in your garden:

  • Square: for peace and structure
  • (Semi-)Circle: looks striking, can be difficult to create in your paving, but easy to integrate into your border or lawn.
  • Oval: sleek appearance and, in combination with natural, loose elements in your garden, can create a beautiful contrast.
  • Triangle: a difficult shape that can cause feelings of anxiety. You could use it as an eye-catching detail in your paving or planting, but keep it small.
  • Diagonal: use this shape to create depth in your garden. Multiple diagonals can cross each other, creating a symmetrical, but perhaps also, a somewhat predictable layout.

Unity in your garden

One of the most important aspects is that you make choices. Sleek lines can be easily combined with natural elements, but draw up a garden plan in any case before embarking on any rigorous work. That way, you will avoid having a mishmash of separate elements, which can make your garden look messy. Start with a basis, by splitting your garden up into 4 sections. These sections can be connected together by one element, like a path or hedge for example. Then you can work on developing the sections themselves. In my blog ‘How to create a unique look in your garden’, I give tips on how to make a garden plan.

Optical illusion

You can make your garden look bigger or smaller by using lines, shapes, plants and colours. For example, lay a path the length of your garden to make it seem longer than it is. By planting trees at equal distances from each other on both sides of the path, you can create an even greater illusion of length. Would you prefer to make your garden seem wider than it actually is? Then plant a hedge across the breadth of your garden, with of course, an opening in the middle or even off-centre, for a more whimsical effect.

Personally, I have decided to severely cut back the bushes in my garden. Not only in width, but especially in height, so my garden will feel a bit bigger again. The path is now laid diagonally towards the door, rather than straight, solving any optical issues of a lack of space. And the campanula? It can stay for now, or at least, until after its blooms have faded.

What is your garden like?

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~ Saskia ~

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