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Keyhole/ Mandala garden - How to use more space - Thought and suggestion is needed

 
Gilad Fisher
Posts: 20
Location: Rehovot, Israel
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Hello all
So Im planing to rebuild the soil on a large empty plot I have.
I thought its a good chance to try out the keyhole/ mandala garden.
Here is the sketch I made:



The green area are the garden bends.
The brown are walking paths.

So here are some data (R=radios):
Total area: 122.71 m^2 (R=6.25 m).

Big walking path at the middle: 14.5m^2 (14.5L 1W)
Keyhole walking paths: 8.84 m^2
Circle walking paths: 26.25 m^2
Total walking space: 49.59 m^2

Net Growing space: 73.12 m^2


How much % is used for growing: 59.58%


Some more data:
A. The width of circle inner walking path is 0.5m.
B. The keyhole circle has a radios of 0.3m.
C. The diameter of the keyhole bed is 1.8m (6 feet)


So its looks really nice, but I read that a keyhole garden has a very good use of space and here, 40% of my space is for walking, not growing.
For sure, Im doing something wrong and that there is a way to take a better use of the space.

Thank you for reading and helping

P.S.
I noticed that the inner circle path takes 21.39% of my area. Maybe there is the problem?
 
Dillon Nichols
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Hi Gilad,

The thing that jumps out at me is the outer path, if this is considered part of the design. With growing space only bordering it one one side, the outer edge of the outer path is a substantial length of edge that currently doesn't add or access anything.

Is the area you have available actually a circle? For the maximum use of space the beds and paths need to fit the available space as completely as possible, so starting with a roughly proportional sketch of the plot can really help.
 
Gilad Fisher
Posts: 20
Location: Rehovot, Israel
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H Dillon, thank you for replying.

Here is the total sketch (of course its not close to be finished:



So the plan is to divide that area to circles and in the triangle like shapes between them to plant perennial plants that will help the food plants so no space is going to waste at the sense.

In the data I brought in the first post I did not include the outer circle path.
 
Gilad Fisher
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Location: Rehovot, Israel
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So I did some better calculations and measurements and I got to this:



So now its only 49% because I included the outer walking path (witch I didnt in the first calculation).
If we would take out the outer walking path, we will get 67%, almost 10% better.

Yet, I feel it could be better.
Anyone?
 
Gilad Fisher
Posts: 20
Location: Rehovot, Israel
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So I thought and I need a big path only in the middle.
I cut down the outer circle path by hlaf, and here are the results:



Hope that some of you learned from my hard work

Have a nice day.
 
Dillon Nichols
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Hi Gilad, looks like you've made some good headway, I like the tweaked center portion.

In your most recent version, the tiny triangular bed in the lower right with the single keyhole path into it... that is a pretty much perfect use of this concept in my opinion. Yet, can you not remove the perimeter path around the outer edge? Or is it needed to access something not shown?

Have you considered starting to design from the outer edge of the lot, allowing enough space there to use the perimeter of the lot for something, and then placing paths as you work in towards the center? Although the outer path for both the circle and the lot perimeter is narrow, it still accesses plant-space on only one side for a much of its length. Often people will plant berries or vines around the edge/on the fence; I prefer to put these where I can harvest both sides, away from the deer on the far side of the fence, but this is down to individual circumstance and taste.

If you want to continue iterating in search of an ideal fit, you could also try a leaf pattern, and see how you like the results.

Finally, I would advise against being over-zealous when narrowing paths; I have seen plenty of people plan very tight beds, and then find the results space frustrating to work in. Plants get stepped on, more time is spent being extra careful... I have certainly been guilty of this myself. I now try to allow more generous paths, in the belief that if they prove excessive, it is easy to allow the perennial plantings to encroach on the paths, or to slightly expand the annual plantings next year. I like this better than the alternatives of relocating perennials, or being forced to keep them overly small, or stepping on annuals...
 
Gilad Fisher
Posts: 20
Location: Rehovot, Israel
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Hi dillon, thank you again for you good ideas and help.
I will address everything you said:

A.
Hi Gilad, looks like you've made some good headway, I like the tweaked center portion.

Thank you very much

B.
In your most recent version, the tiny triangular bed in the lower right with the single keyhole path into it... that is a pretty much perfect use of this concept in my opinion. Yet, can you not remove the perimeter path around the outer edge? Or is it needed to access something not shown?

You have a very good sight my friend
Indeed I wish to perimeter my lot with blackberries vines so I will need access to them.

C.
Have you considered starting to design from the outer edge of the lot, allowing enough space there to use the perimeter of the lot for something, and then placing paths as you work in towards the center?

Well, I have but I didnt put to much thought into it. I think I wil try a new plan and I will post it here for you to give your thoughts.

D.
Although the outer path for both the circle and the lot perimeter is narrow, it still accesses plant-space on only one side for a much of its length. Often people will plant berries or vines around the edge/on the fence;

You are right, but you said what you did because I havent posted the hole sketch, here is it (of course, its still in the making):


E.

I prefer to put these where I can harvest both sides, away from the deer on the far side of the fence, but this is down to individual circumstance and taste.

Good point. Thank you for making it clear for me that harvest is needed at both sides. About the deer: here in Israel we have only a few of them and only in the desert (not where I live) .

F.
If you want to continue iterating in search of an ideal fit, you could also try a leaf pattern, and see how you like the results.

I would like it very much! any new thing about this subject interests me. I try to google it though and I didnt find any information about it. Could you give me a link or something?

J.
Finally, I would advise against being over-zealous when narrowing paths; I have seen plenty of people plan very tight beds, and then find the results space frustrating to work in. Plants get stepped on, more time is spent being extra careful... I have certainly been guilty of this myself. I now try to allow more generous paths, in the belief that if they prove excessive, it is easy to allow the perennial plantings to encroach on the paths, or to slightly expand the annual plantings next year. I like this better than the alternatives of relocating perennials, or being forced to keep them overly small, or stepping on annuals..

Yet again, a very good point. Here is the data about the walking paths:
1. outer and inner circle walking path: 0.5m.
2. Keyhole walking path: 0.3m
3. Keyhole hole: 0.6m diameter.
4. Big straight walking path in the middle: 1 m.

My thought was that I need a big path in the middle for a wagon or something like that and I dont need this kinf of access to each place.
What are your thoughts about that?

Thank you very much again
Have a nice day.

 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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