my garden as it looked at the end of my first day of digging in it
It took a week and several revisions, but I’ve finally come up with what I think is my final design for this year’s garden. It consists of four long raised beds for the vegetable plot, each three feet wide. Figuring out that part was easy. The design of the herbaceous/ornamental plot was a whole different beast.
I wasn’t exactly intimidated by it so much as I was uninspired. I knew that I wanted to focus a good portion on growing flowers for cutting as that’s an area of interest for me moving forward in my horticulture career. I also wanted enough room for a “tea garden”, a section that will allow me to experiment with new herbs in order to broaden my portfolio of homemade teas. Here’s the starter list for that:
Another general group of plants that interest me are seedums, something I know little about but am very intrigued by their shapes and textures. I put them on the original design layout but really had no vision for their presentation. Then the horticulture gods smiled upon me, and I was gifted with three baby Metasequoia trees. They were just the jolt of inspiration I needed to get going with some ideas. The major design element of my herbaceous area will be a constructed “bank” to showcase a sweep of succulents resting under the three trees that are now anchoring the bank at its highest point (more on how I engineered this bank to come). Tucked in below the bank of succulents will be my tea garden, assuming all those herbs can play nice in such a small space.
This garden incorporates graded assignments for my apprentice work at Longwood Gardens. One of those assingments is to have a container planting in the garden that changes with the seasons. Knowing what I wanted to do with this container was easy. Knowing how to implement remains a challenge. What I envision is water garden container for the summer, showcasing a pitcher plant or two, some bog grasses, and a large water lily. I have zero experience in bog plants and water gardening. But I am eager to start this piece, hopefully with the help of Kari, an expert at Longwood who knows a good bit about them.
I’m still sketching out ideas for the “facade” of my garden, toying with the notion of growing a hardy kiwi vine up poles on each corner and stringing solar powered twinkle lights entwined with willow branches between them. Wouldn’t that be pretty? Those plans will have to wait though. At the moment, I need to get all of my seeds sown for my vegetable plot and go plant shopping for my ornamental plants.
Anyone got some good ideas to share about garden design? Either asthetic or functional? I’d love to hear them!
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