Gardening 101: Creating The Landscape Perimeter

Today’s activity is to create the “shape” of your landscape perimeter.

Things you’ll need:

  1. (1) Tape Measure (a 12 ft. tape will work)
  2. (1) Garden Hose (ideally a 50 ft. hose)
  3. (1) Can of Spray Paint (a bright color that will contrast well against green grass and brown dirt)

I highly recommend using (1) 50 ft. garden hose or, at the most, (2) 25 ft. hoses (NOT multiple shorter hoses).

In the last post I explained two basic garden styles – formal and informal – and challenged you to discover which one you like more. If you’ve come to a conclusion on the matter, and know which one you’d like to see in your own yard, the next step is to determine the perimeter shape. Did you notice liking a particular “shape” of garden? Take some time to figure out your preference – geometric shapes or free-flowing, sinuous shapes.

Creating A Geometric-Shaped Landscape Perimeter

If you decide you like geometric-shaped gardens, this exercise is a little more “straight” forward. To landscape up against your house, measure out from your house approximately 4 feet, and paint a straight line, and then “box” it in to make a rectangular shape. (I recommend painting immediately after you’ve mowed the lawn.)

Creating A Sinuous Landscape Perimeter

If you prefer a sinuous landscape perimeter, this exercise will require a little fun creativity. Grab the garden hose and place it on the ground. Now start making a shape with some exaggerated curves. Play with it until you’re satisfied with the shape, and be sure to look at it from a number of viewpoints.

The next step will require a little self-control – SLEEP ON IT! Don’t just grab your shovel and start flinging dirt all over the place like a mad dog on a mission to find buried treasure, or escape a kennel. Remember, this is the shape you’ll live with for awhile, maybe forever… although, not likely.

Once you’re completely satisfied with the shape you’ve created, take your can of spray paint and trace along the garden hose shape you created. (Again, I recommend painting immediately after you’ve mowed the lawn.)

Don’t Panic

If you’re not sure about the shape, don’t get too concerned. What you put IN the garden will play a FAR greater roll in the overall look of the garden, then the perimeter shape.

Now sit tight. In one of the next Gardening 101 posts you’ll start digging the garden bed, and, eventually, pick out plants, and arrange them.

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2 comments to Gardening 101: Creating The Landscape Perimeter

  • Heather

    I like your idea of using the garden hose to create a meandering garden perimeter. That way, you can look at it for a while and see if you like it. I even have a white one and a yellow one that would stand out from the green grass. And if it takes you long enough to decide, you won’t need the spray paint…the grass will die beneath the hose and make the line for you. :)

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