Curves in the Landscape

(Naumkeag in Stockbridge, Mass...a must-visit)

 “In life, as in art, the beautiful moves in curves.”

~ Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

(pool and landscape by Johnsen Landscapes & Pools)

Perhaps it is my reaction against the tight grids of modern site
design, or maybe it is my love of natural forms, or possibly it is due to my being a female...

but I love curves in the landscape.

I am not referring to the squiggly kind or the ill considered hose-on-the-ground variety but the sweeping curves that draw your eye around and onward.

(Red and White Border - Jan Johnsen, Johnsen Landscapes & Pools)

The lure of a curve entices you to see what is on the other side.

(no Belgian Block here! - Jan Johnsen, Johnsen Landsapes & Pools)

A curving line makes you feel good.

(The Mastery of Gaudi - Parque Guell, Barcelona)

It may even make you stop and ponder the scene sometimes.

(Naumkeag again, photo by Jan Johnsen)

But most of all, a curve in the garden delights and relaxes.

(deer resistant planting along a drive - Jan Johnsen, Johnsen Landscpes & Pools)

and helps us to rest

(Johnsen Landscapes & Pools)

and delight in the Green World!

(Garden by Jan Johnsen, Johnsen Landscapes & Pools)


  1. I agree, gentle curves, not squiggles.


  2. what a beautiful post! And I agree that Naumkeg is a must see garden. I love the Blue Steps that you pictured. One story I heard is that owner Mabel Choate told designer Fletcher Steele that she needed an easy way to get to the clothesline. Do I really think Miss Choate was hanging out her own sheets and scanties? No, but it is an interesting story. Maybe she was very considerate of her household staff.

  3. I men like curves too! nice post, i have seen that photo of Naumkeag before, but dident know where it was. Thanks for that, Sunny

  4. I built my entire garden based on Gaudi's Park Guell. His buildings are also curvey and awesome. Looking at the landform of Charles Jenks to see how beautifully simple curves can be is also worthwhile.

  5. Ah yes - Jencks...see what I wrote about the Garden of Cosmic Speculation (love that name)...Parque Guell, to me, is cosmic as well. I will write a short tribute to that place...I would like to see photos of your garden!!!!!

    btw, that story about Mable Choate is the best...Steele probably had that idea in his head and jumped when she said she needed a way to get up the hill...

  6. I am an old female and I love "curves" in landscaping.

  7. This was a very graceful post! It makes me want to do a photo project, seeking curves in the natural landscape where I'm living now.

    Gaudi certainly did love curves, didn't he?

  8. Seabluelee - I certainly hope you do a photo project about curves in the landscape!

    'The sinuous line of grace' as Capability Brown called them... And Gaudi based his structural engineering on the spiraling strength of Nature's curves! genius.

  9. These landscape curves give your garden shape, appeal, and beauty. I like how the different plants and flowers give a 3-dimensional feel to your garden, just like with the white and red blossoms in the third photo. The key to this is knowing what you want exactly. You must be able to plan and visualize the landscape you intend to do to your garden or patio. I love your inspirational garden and pool photos!

  10. Wonderful photos! Meandering curves look natural and more pleasing to the eye. Stone pathways and creative curves can often be the most beautiful part of a landscape. It is the curves that can turn your stone pathway into a thing of beauty or something much less than beautiful. Adding a few gentle curves will give your backyard landscape a much more natural yet professionally designed look. Thanks for sharing this inspiring post.

  11. Im in awe seeing these fantastic pictures! Such an amazing view.

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