This garden features plants that can grow naturally to form a specific shape or that can be trimmed to create a specific shape.
Shapes in this garden include rounded, pyramidal, and columnar shapes. Shape, or form, is a very important feature in garden design. The selection of plant shape in a design can define whether a garden draws the observer’s eye to the ground or to the sky. Repeating forms in the garden can also bring unity and harmony to a garden design.
A prominent plant used in the Shape Garden is dwarf yaupon (llex vomitoria ‘Nana’). As the scientific name suggests, this native evergreen holly has toxic berries, though birds can eat them with no ill effects. Native Americans also used various parts of the plant for medicinal purposes. A tea made with the leaves of yaupon has a high caffeine content. When planted spaciously and left alone, the dwarf yaupon will form nicely rounded masses that lend themselves to be pruned.