Geometry Roots Great Garden Design

Geometry might have been a dull subject at college for some people, but it’s had a significant influence on the design of our houses throughout the ages. The use of geometry for a design tool has taken us on an intriguing journey from the ancient gardens of Persia into the parterres of Renaissance Europe and even to our modern gardens.

The contours in our garden greatly influence the way we view and experience it. We use circles, squares, rectangles and triangles, divided and joined to one another, to mesh to formal design. Geometric shapes delineate boundaries, create spaces and channel views.

Here is a choice of gardens which show clear utilization of geometrics in their design, from simple aerodynamic gardens to knot gardens, two-dimensional gardens and modern three-dimensional landscapes.

As rooms require a focus, such as a fireplace or a window, gardens with simple geometric designs also require a point on which the eye may rest. This traditional design comprising a central axis which divides the region has an archway into another garden as its principal focus.

Using a central path with a distant viewpoint is a great way to earn a brief garden look more.

Harold Leidner Landscape Architects

The perfect symmetry of these simple geometric designs allows for the chance to decorate the flat planes created. Renaissance Europe saw the use of parterres and knot gardens where simple — and later more complex — contours were delineated with low-growing citrus plants. Initially, as in this contemporary version of a knot garden, coloured sand was laid between the evergreen “lines”

Watch more about parterre gardens

Deborah Cerbone Associates, Inc..

Later these essentially two-dimensional layouts were “embroidered” with plants, making a richly coloured pattern. This modern take on a knot garden uses a simple mixture of whites and grays to recreate this ordered fashion round the most fundamental of geometric shapes: squares and triangles.

Small knot gardens can be a decorative and practical way to grow culinary customs.

Isler Homes

Perhaps the easiest use of geometry and basic contours in the garden is this very modern take on a French parterre. The general square boundary is bordered with a lineup of trimmed conifers echoing the central squares of evergreen “box” plants. We even have a “viewpoint” in the positioning of the simple, classically designed bench.

Randy Thueme Design Inc. – Landscape Architecture

This very contemporary courtyard garden has its own origins in the past with its officially planted low beds — now using grasses — in a symmetrical design.

Ron Herman Landscape Architect

The easiest two-dimensional design may be the most satisfying. In the 1930s, Dutch designer Mein Ruys was utilizing intriguing new ideas to provide her gardens a framework. She also laid a Mondrian-style grid around the floor to split up the space. She implanted some regions while others bare.

Here we see a contemporary version of this utilizing equal squares of grass, paving and pebbles — an almost maintenance-free design that would be ideal for front garden.

Blakely and Associates Landscape Architects, Inc..

Two-dimensional design is still very important now. The use of form and line here with no plants, generates both curiosity and movement in a satisfying design based on the classical principles of scale and proportion.

Adriana Aristizabal

The evolution of the contemporary three-dimensional design started in the middle of the 20th century when evolution in visual arts propagate throughout architecture and eventually influenced garden design. The use of elevated planted beds and even the positioning and elevation of this chaises seen here show how we have moved on from simple pattern making to making a usable space.

SHKS Architects

The three-dimensional design of this front garden nearly has its own origins in the paintings of this 20th-century artist Mondrian. Its powerful geometric-shape raised beds of varied heights are reinforced by the width of the walls. All is softened, though, by the superbly implemented and understated plantings.

Outer space Landscape Architecture

Modern formal gardens use geometry to define private outdoor spaces, and smaller gardens require clean lines and minimal characteristics to allow for multifunctional uses. Geometrics aid this design. The powerful rectangular shape of this table and seat, for example, reinforce the clean lines.

Blasen Landscape Architecture

Geometry can transform space into a cutting-edge landscape. Here we view the epitome of garden design that is geometric. The combination of lines, right angles and simple shapes functions well, developing a clean, serene and uncluttered appearance.

Ron Herman Landscape Architect

The ultimate display of geometrics is observed here in this checkerboard design by the architect Ron Herman. The inspiration came from moss and rock Zen temple gardens in Kyoto, Japan. The grid design of cubes is surfaced with smooth river pebbles and Helxine (Soleirolia soleirolii), while a vertical accent is offered by slim bamboo.

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