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A client asked us, “I have a lot of straight lines in my landscape. Is there any way to jazz things up?”

Straight lines can be comforting – they provide a sense of order and reassuring symmetry—but you’re right to look for ways to keep them from becoming rigid and boring. Here’s a landscape design tip from the Home Outside experts: without altering the hardscape of your yard, you can soften straight lines by adding plants that create texture and movement. Look for billowy forms that might blow in the wind – shrub willows, for example, or ornamental grasses – or plants with soft foliage like lambs’ ears, and allow groundcovers to spill over the edges of walkways and patios.

Photograph: Susan Teare. Landscape design: JMMDS.