Laying Out Square Corners

For crisp, neat beds and borders, perfectly square corners are a must -- and a sign of good workmanship. This simple technique assures you of flawlessly square corners every time.

Lay out one edge of the bed and drive in a stake where you want the corner. Lay out the second edge with batterboards and stretch a mason's line between them across the corner stake.


With a tape measure, check that the corner is square by making a 3-4-5 triangle. Adjust the mason's line as needed until the distance between two points 3 feet and 4 feet from the corner stake is exactly 5 feet.


Mark the endpoints with tape and transfer them to the ground with a plumb bob. Drive in stakes to mark the endpoints and stretch a mason's line along the ground between them. Sprinkle powdered chalk over the line to mark the rough outline of the bed.





Laying Out Arcs

Laying Out Straight Edges

Laying Out Free-form Curves

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