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August 24, 2012, 9:39 am Yahoo!7
Garden designs that are square and geometrically shaped create a beautifully structured landscape that measures up perfectly.
Strong geometric shapes work well in both formal and contemporary gardens, where they reflect the urban landscape around them. Squares and rectangles are stable and rigid, providing a sense of uniformity when repeated through a garden. In particular, squares have a mathematical purity and give classic simplicity to any space.
Satisfying in their symmetry and essential for creating formality, squares are the building blocks for so many landscape designs. Together with their close cousins, rectangles, square shapes echo through a whole host of garden features – from pavers and cube pots to lattice and hedging. So when you’re laying out your landscape, feel free to indulge a love of straight lines and right angles, to create a garden that really squares up.The right angle
two-toned chequerboard paint or a bespoke cut-metal fence. For landscaping on gentle slopes, you could try terraced, slightly overlapping square lawns, connected by clean-lined steps.Plan your plot
For a touch of pleasing repetition, consider using squares within squares – perhaps a square flowerbed within a square lawn. Then take the idea further by planting rows of different colours in stripes, or try concentric squares using different plant heights or colours. Growing cubes of neatly clipped buxus in tubs is great for repeating a square-inspired garden theme, and will add a contemporary touch by your front door. And squared-off plants work well on walls, too. Simply train a vine in repeated diamond shapes, or trim espaliered shrubs into symmetrical squares or rectangles. Here are 14 can-do ideas to bring a whole new perspective to your patch.Related content:
- For cube-shaped pots, try timber Versailles planters if you’re after a classic look. For an edgier modern feel, choose zinc, steel or fibreglass containers.Water features
Consider the idea of a square opening in a courtyard wall. Together with a strongly linear water feature, such as here, it immediately lends a contemporary edge by emulating the form of modern architecture. The loose planting and architectural foliage softens the simplicity of the shapes.Play around
Try varying the lengths and widths of your stepping stones for interest, as with these crisp slabs – they appear to be floating on the surface of the water.Water works
A letterbox waterspout draws the eye and the flowing water is a contrast to the still, reflective square ponds. Clipped box and groundcover blocks of Pachysandra terminalis ‘Green Carpet’ continue the geometric design. The predominantly green planting, with just a splash of white, adds to the sense of tranquillity.Boxing
Traditional box hedging frames can showcase your topiary skills, from cones and eye-catching spirals to whimsical creations. Alternate with plant-filled boxes in muted tones or add a little seasonal vibrancy.
For a contemporary look, place a stylish urn in a well-kept square of box hedging – perfect for a Mediterranean-style garden, and a striking way to show off a beautiful piece. In terms of technique, you’ll need to position the urn first, then create a square-shaped garden bed around it, improving the soil with plenty of manure. Plant your buxus at 30cm intervals and trim lightly as they grow, to encourage the straight sides of the square.Postcard from the hedge
If you have the space, here’s an idea for formal elegance, using repeated small square ponds in imposing buxus blocks. To maintain the effect, be prepared for regular pruning, feeding and watering. In this formal garden, strong geometric shapes continue with a long border edged in hedging and pleached trees around a rectangular lawn.Modern metal
To give an industrial edge to this urban courtyard, reclaimed metal pieces have been incorporated with the bold pond, muted purple walls and stonework. Setting the gutters at different angles just slightly relaxes the square geometry of the design.
Be artistic and tilt squares to form diamond shapes. It will intensify focal points against a foil of rectangular hard landscaping. The pale tones really jump out from the deep grape-coloured water feature.Check mate
To create this eye-pleasing mix of hard landscaping and soft greenery in your backyard, space large square pavers 6-7cm apart and fill with mini mondo grass.Law and order
Strappy phormium foliage explodes like fireworks from these contemporary pots. However, by matching the tones, the effect remains uniform for a visual boundary.Colour code
A pyramid pairs well with a square frame of box, and looks great from any angle, and adding a fringe of seasonal colour gives life to the green mass.
If you have a hankering for cube containers, consider the timeless and elegant Versailles planters. They add a touch of class when positioned in pairs by a gate or at the entrance to a traditional or country-style home. Plant with brimming colour such as these sun-loving pelargoniums.Cubist movement
to help trim while they sit and chat!Square dance
A chequerboard of begonia and turf has huge wow factor. This scene-stealing patchwork also works well with a variety of groundcovers, including thyme, chamomile, mondo and dichondra.