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Basics I: Line

Series: Basics of Good Design

As we begin looking at what makes a good design, we will discuss its main elements: line, shape, size, direction, texture, and color. Here, we’ll discuss Line

When we think of line in the landscape it is generally thought of as the separation or edge between materials. Think of edging or sod line, bed line, hardscape (patio, deck, etc) line, fence line, path line, wall line or property line. These lines break up and define the landscape, they often evoke the sense of space and relation to the environment and can be manipulated by their orientation.

Curved = Relaxing, Informal, Mysterious

We see that straight lines tend to be forceful and structural giving a modern or formal expression and not considered to be natural. Often, they are used to draw the eye directly to a focal point.

Curved lines instead lend to an informal, natural or relaxing sense, as they cause the eye to move more slowly. Also, curved lines can give rise to mystery by hiding views or building a sense of excitement in the viewer as to what’s around the corner.

Vertical = Space, Movement

Vertical lines create upward eye movement providing a sense of increased space or movement. A great trick to make a small space feel bigger is to add tall narrow plant materials or structures.

Horizontal = Depth, Rest

Lastly, horizontal lines can also make a space feel larger by moving the eye along the ground plane conjuring a sense of rest. Where vertical lines give depth to a space, horizontal lines obtain a sense of repose, inflating the minds sense of space.

Choose the style you like best but keep in mind the architecture of the home and how you will use the space. These are equally important and must be thought of holistically so the design is functional and aesthetic.

Remember that shape and form will carry through the design from the shape of; decks, patios, walkways, lawns and beds, to plants, and masses of plants.

Questions? Comments? Email or swing by our store and chat with any of our helpful & knowledgeable staff!

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