Garden design and maintenance

Modern garden architecture with geometric shapes and easy-care plants

modern garden architecture garden design geometric shapes path

Modern garden architecture of all kinds can use plants in geometric formations such as spheres, pyramids, blocks, strips and hedges to give your outdoor area a unique ambience. A modern geometry and structure of the garden with such planting can better define the contours, create the desired visual effect and be an eye-catcher all year round. In this guide we have collected pictures and examples of modern garden architecture that will certainly enrich your next design concept.

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When we talk about plants and geometry, perfectly cut shrubs come to mind first. Not all designs require a dedication to cutting, however. Modern garden architecture uses plants that are easy to care for, such as ornamental grasses, which grow in ribbons or in loose blocks in order to obtain a geometric touch.

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Spherical shapes can bring both an interesting structure and a dynamic feel to the landscape. In this way, they give the illusion that a perfectly spherical shrub might roll out over the yard. If you use ball-shaped elements or circular shapes of different sizes for modern garden architecture, you create a relaxed atmosphere in your outdoor area. Both forms can also be used symbolically to represent wholeness or celestial bodies such as the sun or moon.

modern garden architecture garden design geometric spherical planting

If you want to add an accent to the garden structure, you can combine the spherical shrub with loose plants such as creeping vines and perennials. The round shapes serve as a focal point and can be positioned in flower pots on either side of the entrance, or combined with other ornamental plants in garden beds.

modern garden architecture garden design geometric shapes planting stripes

Plantings limited to long and narrow beds form strips that would be suitable formations for your modern garden architecture. As with choosing vertical or horizontal stripes for a sweater, green stripes can visually stretch the landscape, making narrow areas appear wider as they cross the yard. When the stripes run along an axis, they attract the eye to the end of the garden. These geometric design elements are also useful as edges for larger plant beds.

modern garden architecture garden design geometric shapes planting stripes lawn

You can use a striped planting for a minimalist or purist modern garden architecture. This also allows you to make your green area look wider. Planted strips do not necessarily have to consist of carefully tended evergreens. In this modern garden in Marseille, the landscape architects used ornamental grasses. These were planted in strips to visually tear up the lawn and create a side effect for the path that goes through the center of the garden.

modern garden architecture garden design geometric shapes planting block-shaped hedge

Use block cut plants to add a sense of stability and order to your modern garden architecture. They can serve as a natural wall when planted as thick hedges, ridges, or screens. Block plantings of evergreens can create a year-round backdrop of beds and flowering perennials.

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For this modern garden architecture in Hudson Valley, New York, the gardeners used block-shaped plantings of ornamental grasses to achieve a trendy look that compliments the minimalist lines of the home. In contrast to sheared shrubs, ornamental grasses require relatively less care – just an annual pruning each winter.

modern garden architecture garden design geometric shapes planting box-shaped

Both the square and the rectangular box shapes are popular variants for formal modern garden architecture. These design elements are real eye-catchers and emphasize the geometric shapes in the garden. In this example from a London courtyard, boxwood has been cut in low rectangles to emphasize the shape of the stairs. Larger rectangles sit on either side of the fountain. The crisp angles and uniform appearance require appropriate care, but the desired effect is definitely worth it. You can use the box-shaped elements to delimit paved surfaces or in planters.

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Low-growing plants, restricted to square and rectangular planting beds, act like living floor mats or stepping stones when used in modern garden architecture. The almost two-dimensional quality of this lawn grass planting in crisp, metallic-edged rectangles turns a mostly banal garden element into a true geometric feature. It might be a bit of a hassle to mow and cut, but is well applicable in current landscaping.

Other ways to mimic this geometric carpet look are almost maintenance-free:

Plant slow-growing ground cover such as Sedum or Silver Carpet (Dymondia margaretae) in rectangular shapes with well-defined edges. Invest in geometric patterns for the paved surfaces to create the right floor covering. Thus you can create a transition from the green area to the sidewalk (hardscape).

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Rare shapes like cones or pyramids are a real feast for the eyes. You can use evergreen shrubs for this. In the following example, the garden designer used two conical box trees as eye catchers on the access path. They clearly mark the place where you leave one garden area and enter another.

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Vertical elements for modern garden architecture, such as thin shrubs, bamboo, cacti, trees with straight trunks and other linear plants, give the outdoor area a special touch with their upright shapes. Planted in a courtyard, they can demarcate a small area and draw attention.

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Use the repeating shapes of upright trees, such as cypresses, to frame the borders on either side of a sidewalk, for example. These tree species are mostly used to delimit outside spaces.

modern garden architecture garden design geometric shapes planting cypress trees

Plants are not the only means of establishing geometric motifs for modern garden architecture. Fortified design elements such as walls, fences, and walkways are typically the bone structure of a garden. These geometric formations do not require complex garden maintenance such as cutting, shearing or replanting.

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