A part of sustainability is being mindful of how shape affects the atmosphere of a garden, especially how easily the wind moves through the garden and the comfort that’s felt when walking by different shapes that might be present in a garden.  Shape can be seen in the outline of a garden bed, the shape of a water fountain design, tables and chairs, the type of stones that define edges, round pebbles spread along a path, and in the shape of the stepping-stones that are used to mark a path

Although vegetables are commonly planted in long straight rows, round is the most commonly seen shape in a garden. Most containers are round, as are bird baths, bird nests, flowers, tree trunks, bamboo stakes, the rain barrel, buckets, the handles of garden tools, and even the broom. Those small frog ponds and wonderful garden beds that surround large old trees are usually round. Seeds come in a variety of shapes, but mostly are round or at least have rounded edges – the tiniest seeds of amaranth, mustard, and quinoa are perfectly round.

Ancient indigenous gardeners knew the circle to be a shape of harmony. Rounded edges allow easy movement of the wind, feel soft to the eyes, are easy to hold, and comfortable to touch. Tiny bugs, worms, and other critters enjoy the tiny protected alcoves that rounded edges create.

Read more about shapes in the book Shamanic Gardening: Timeless Techniques for the Modern Sustainable Garden; see ‘Garden Design for Right- and Left-brain Individuals.