Shape Up Your Landscape Design

Circles, squares, rectangles—all create blocks of soft or hard landscaping in your garden.
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©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Using Shapes

Rectangle and square shapes provide an excellent framework for almost any garden, large and small. Linked squares and rectangles in a large yard or combined with a circle softens their sharp edges.

Using Rectangles in Rectangles

Unlike lines, which cut or weave through your space, shapes create blocks of soft or hard landscaping. Choose symmetrical geometric shapes for formal designs, or organic, fluid forms for informal or naturalistic garden styles.

Layering Rectangles and Squares

Based on a cross, the different-sized rectangles used in this small garden are linked to create a cohesive, attractive design. The focus is a central rectangular lawn, set off with a brick mowing edge.

Using Rectangles

The Zen garden is based on squares, which convey a neat formality. The pavers line up with the garden room and seat, and all the elements work together to form a harmonious whole.

Circular Design in Rectangle Space

Circles and ellipses draw the eye into the center of the garden, visually widening spaces and making them seem more open. Circles can be sued for both formal and informal styles.

Circular Patio

A long, narrow urban garden is broken up with a series of circles into more usable spaces. The shapes are laid along a central axis, creating a formal appearance. They focus the eye toward the center, making the yard look wider.

Ellipses Design for a Rectangle Space

Circles and ellipses draw the eye into the center of the garden, visually widening spaces and making them seem more open. Ellipses give a more informal impression than squares and rectangles.

Oval Decking

The elliptical deck in the small terrace works in a similar way to the circular shapes, pulling the eye away from the edges, though in this case the materials and shape convey informality.