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  • Lines for outdoor space

4 Types of Lines Used in Designing Your Outdoor Space

Homeowners always want to know how to envision a backyard space of their own. When I walk into a backyard for the very first time, I look at the lines of the space.

Lines and the way it moves the eye is one of the most important and useful of all of the design elements. Lines can be created from almost anything; the lawn, a fence, even a trunk of a tree can all be visual lines. Some of the more subtle lines may be harder to see, but they are still there. Look for spots where the lawn meets a hedge or a large limb of a tree that crosses the yard.

There are four main types of lines in design: curved, straight, horizontal, and vertical. All four are just as important to the overall effect of your space. Curved lines around flowerbeds and pathways create movement in a static space. Straight lines like fences and driveways are more formal and give a sense of order. Vertical lines act the same, giving a sense of strength and permanence. Horizontal lines are more soothing than vertical. Like the horizon, they evoke a sense of stability.

No matter what type of line that you use in your space, it’s important to understand that lines lead the eye. Lines along pathways and plant beds draw you forward as they lead away. Horizontal lines move your eye from side-to-side. Vertical lines take the eye up and out of the garden, often into the sky or up to a pergola.

Think about the lines you already have in your garden. Some of them are good; others need to be softened with trees and shrubs. If you understand how these lines impact your space, you can use them to your advantage.