Laying Out Arcs

Round beds are some of the most attractive around, but it can take a little know-how to get them just right, especially when you're working around a tree (or you'll be running around in circles!) If you follow these methods, you'll be rewarded with a perfectly round circle that will be the start of a gorgeous garden.

Drive 2x2 stakes into the ground at each end of the arc and run a mason's line between them. With a line level, adjust the line on the stakes until it is level.


Find the midpoint between the stakes and mark it on the line with tape. Transfer the midpoint to the ground with a plumb bob and chalk, then mark it with a stake.


Drive a nail partway into the center stake to use as a pivot. Tie a mason's line to the nail and stretch it a few inches past one of the end stakes, then cut it. Tie the line to a bottle of powdered chalk so that when the line is taut, the bottle just reaches the stake.


Keep the mason's line taut and mark an arc with the powdered chalk on the ground between the end stakes.





Laying Out Square Corners

Laying Out Straight Edges

Laying Out Free-form Curves

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