Garden Design


I had been giving my garden a lot of thought in the past couple of weeks, despite not being able to visit it again (!). When I did finally manage to stop by on Sunday after work, in the rain, I discovered another community garden member had made good on his offer to till my little plot for me. After my own attempts to turn one half of it, I nearly cried with happiness that I wouldn’t have to subject my sadly atrophied muscles to such treatment again. Now I’ve been pondering how best to lay out the plants, some of which should go in as soon as possible like the lettuce, broccoli, peas, and spinach.

(Image from here…and I find it interesting that the poster was making the same point I am, essentially.)

This is the typical and traditional way to lay out a garden. Personally, I find looking at rows a bit boring and occasionally discouraging. Maybe I’m still having flashbacks to Mom’s looooooong garden rows and standing at one end of the bean row bemoaning how long it would take me to pick down to the other end and then back up the other side. At any rate, I was considering alternatives. Small square patches, like a checkerboard? Diagonal rows? Flowerbed style? Then while searching for solstice celebration ideas, I found an article on making an elemental garden. While the purpose of my garden is food and beauty in that order, the circle design just resonated with me – one of those “Aha! That’s it!” moments we all get now and then.

(image from here)

Now my garden isn’t nearly as big as that one (or the diagram below), so I think I will just make it a circle, divide it into quadrants, and call it good. Not sure yet if I will still have “rows” coming from the center of the circle out or if I’ll plant each quadrant in more of a flowerbed style. I think I’ll put a birdbath in the center, since while birds can sometimes be pests I know I’ll want them for the bug-picking abilities later in the spring and summer. The triangles left in the corners of the garden bed will be for extra flowers or herbs. No garden of mine would be complete without at least one specimen of my favorite summer flower – sunflowers. There is something just so very special about sunflowers to me. They’re always so happy, they make me smile, they’re homely yet beautiful, and provide so much to nature. I don’t think I’ll be planting the 12-foot giants Mom sent me seed for, since they would shade the whole garden, but I have a few other kinds that will definitely go in somewhere.

I’m so excited about this. Beyond excited. When I hit on the idea I was literally jumping up and down. Who would have thought gardening would be so exciting?

(image from here)

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