Decide on style—either informal or formal.

An informal style follows the natural terrain by using curved, flowing lines. It creates balance without being symmetrical and highlights existing and future plant specimens. A formal style uses straight, geometric lines to determine the shape of the bed. It often relies on symmetry, i.e., matching one side of the garden with the other. The rectangular shape can be repeated in other architectural elements, such as the house, pool, lawn or patio.

Most decisions on style are a matter of personal preference. Here are a few points to consider:

  • If your property has no outstanding natural features and is relatively flat, you may use either style.
  • If your yard is irregularly shaped with slopes, hills, rock out-croppings or mature specimen trees, the informal style is preferred.
  • Consider the style of the house and select the style of garden that will complement it best.

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