Can You Mix Straight Lines and Curves in a Garden?

You want your garden’s landscape to look as pleasant as possible, but you also want it to represent you as a person. Everyone has different style preferences regarding landscaping, so what you choose will largely depend on you. One thing you may be wondering is if you can mix straight lines and curves in a garden.

You can mix straight lines and curves in a garden if it doesn’t throw off the balance or proportions too much. Many beautiful gardens have a combination of straight lines and curves, so it’s entirely possible to create a beautiful landscape using different shapes.

The rest of this article will discuss mixing straight lines and curves in a garden in greater detail. It will also discuss when you should choose straight lines and when you should choose curves.

Do Straight Lines and Curves Mix Well Together in a Garden?

Straight lines and curves mix well together in a garden if designed tastefully and well-balanced. While straight lines convey a very “put-together” and fancy appearance, curved lines give a relaxed and natural feel. Mixing the two can create a nice contrast.

However, they don’t always mix well together. For example, it’s always best to keep lines adjacent to each other in the same shape. So if there are two lines adjacent, you should either keep them both straight or both curved. If one is straight and the other is curved, it can be distracting and look unbalanced.

An example of how to tastefully mix straight lines and curves would be to lead one shape into another. For instance, if you create one section of the garden of straight lines, you could have it naturally lead up to another garden area with curved lines.

This way, you keep everything balanced while also changing the shapes to give the garden more excitement and style. Some people may also like to have two separate sections of their garden: one for curved lines and one for straight lines. It’s up to you to choose what you want.

Best Way To Mix Straight Lines and Curves in a Garden

First and foremost, you should mix straight lines and curves in a garden in whatever way you want. Sometimes, you must go against the recommended style guides to achieve what you want, which often pays off well. 

However, there are some things worth considering before making any final decisions. Some of the most important things you’ll need to understand are the main principles of landscape design. 

Some of the primary principles are:

  • Balance 
  • Focal points
  • Simplicity
  • Rhythm and lines
  • Proportion
  • Unity.

Other things to consider would include:

  • Color
  • Scale
  • Textures.

When mixing the shapes in your garden, you should consider many essential principles. 

Below, let’s look at the ones that are most closely related to curves and straight lines:

Rhythm and Lines

Rhythm and line are possibly the most essential landscape principles when mixing straight lines and curves. If you don’t mix them well, there won’t be a rhythm to your garden, and it will feel clunky. 

But by mixing them naturally and focusing on repetition, there will be a rhythm. This rhythm could include having straight lines at the beginning of the garden, curves in the middle, and straight lines again at the end of the garden. 

In addition to properly mixing straight lines and curves, you also want to ensure your plants, trees, shrubs, and grass follow a certain rhythm. You could achieve this through color coordination or having certain plants in certain parts of the garden, repeating multiple times throughout the garden.

Remember: repetition in garden design is a good thing!


Scale is significant because it contributes to balance. If you don’t make proper and precise measurements, some plants and lines will look too far away, and others may look too close together. As a result, the garden will look messy and disorganized, which you certainly want to avoid.

You want to ensure the straight lines and curves are accurately measured and scaled correctly. The same goes for everything else in the garden.


Balance is vital in many aspects of life, and garden landscaping is no exception! You certainly don’t want a messy and unorganized garden with different shapes mixed in the wrong places. 

This lack of organization creates an unbalanced feel and can be highly distracting. While you want all your plants and trees to look balanced, you should also ensure your lines and landscaping mirror that balance. 

This process doesn’t mean that each side has to be the same as the other, but they should be similar (in most cases). It also helps guests feel at ease and comfortable.

When mixing lines and curves, you can keep the balance by naturally implementing both shapes into the landscape. As mentioned earlier, this could include straight lines that eventually end and meet with curved lines to give a unique feel to the space.

When To Have Straight Lines in a Garden

You should have straight lines in a garden if you want a more formal and serious look. In many cases, a garden with straight lines will look less natural than a garden with curved lines, but this isn’t a bad thing.

Many people prefer the perfected look that straight lines bring to a garden. It creates a minimalistic and modern feel, which may be your style. However, straight lines will also require plenty of maintenance. Since straight lines are supposed to remain crisp, you’ll need to maintain the plants and soil to keep the garden looking fresh and at its best.

In many cases, straight lines create a more symmetrical look because it’s easier to keep straight lines looking identical. But that’s not to say gardens with curved lines aren’t symmetrical.

When To Have Curved Lines in a Garden

You should have curved lines in a garden if you want a more natural and laid-back style. Curved lines give a garden a softer flow and are better for people who wish to avoid overly-structured and formal garden designs.

Since it’s not very common for highly straight and structured lines to occur in nature, curved lines give the impression that you didn’t plan your garden correctly. Curved lines are sometimes easier to maintain than straight lines because there is greater room for imperfection.

If you like the idea of a modern and structured garden, but you also want to incorporate a more laid-back style, mixing your lines is best. 

With curved lines, you also need to shape your flowers and plants in a certain way to flow well with the rest of the landscape. This process means that you’ll need to measure everything before planting, and you may need to trim certain plants to have the proper shape to enhance the curved lines they’re following.

When To Have Zig-Zag Lines in a Garden

Zig-zag lines are another appropriate option if you want a less formal style. Although they are less formal than straight lines, they aren’t as natural-looking as curved lined landscapes. However, they’re a fun and exciting addition to many gardens.

These lines will give a garden some added excitement and energy, so you should incorporate them if that’s what you aim to achieve. You could also include zig-zag lines with curved or straight lines. However, mixing all three might be too excessive.

Having one or two different line shapes in most gardens is enough; any more will create a slightly messy look. Having your plants and flowers follow a zig-zag form can sometimes be challenging, so you should consider this.

Is Symmetry Necessary for a Garden’s Landscape?

Symmetry isn’t necessary for a garden’s landscape in every case, but it’s good to aim for as much symmetry as possible. However, if you don’t like the idea of symmetry or your garden is tiny, for example, you can opt for a different approach.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s not always necessary to follow the set rules when designing your garden’s landscape. So although people generally recommend symmetry, nothing stops you from doing whatever you want (as long as the finished result looks good)!

A garden that isn’t symmetrical can look beautiful in its own way, mainly if you’ve implemented an impressive design. For example, you could have a straight line and curved line next to each other and try to make it work by implementing flowers in a visually pleasing pattern.

Asymmetry works well for people who want more natural-looking gardens because symmetry is rare in nature. So, if you want it to look like your garden is natural and has had minimal work done, you could opt for an asymmetrical design. 

Some ways to do this would be to:

  • Incorporate straight lines and curves around the garden’s landscape.
  • Plant different-colored plants around the garden.
  • Mis-matched tree and plant placement on each side of the garden.


You can mix straight lines and curves in a garden once you do it tastefully. When incorporating different shapes into the landscape, you should consider some of the following principles:

  • Balance
  • Scale 
  • Rhythm and lines.

While straight lines convey a formal and “put-together” look, curved lines convey a more natural look. So by mixing straight lines and curves, you can mix formal and natural styles.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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