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Artistic Permaculture Garden Design  RSS feed

 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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Hi. I am following an online permaculture design course. To get my Certificate I need to make a garden design. I found someone who likes having a new design for her garden. She's one of my artist friends.
So: I am an artist, she is an artist ... of course this must become an artistic garden design. And because it's the end project of the course, as much permaculture principles as possible must be applied in the design. She wants to grow more edibles in her garden (both annual and perennial).
It's a small suburban garden, enclosed at all sides (you can enter from the house, or from a narrow path alongside the garage). There are already some fruit trees and berry bushes and there's a gravel circle in the middle (from former owners, for a parasol or a laundry-drying thing), which I want to be part of my new design.
There's no real design now. She did put plants here and there, and paths came where she often walked in the same direction.
Of course my new design must be a real design. I think of changing the middle circle to a herb spiral (the gravel can stay underground) and making paths like sun rays from there in eight or ten directions. Each bed (the parts inbetween the paths) will have a tree or bush in it and the rest is for the annual vegetables.

I'll show a map of the garden (as it's now) in my next post.
Feel free to comment or pose questions  

p.s. she does NOT want art objects in the garden!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Awesome opportunity to incorporate what is already in place to create a picture.

I love to design garden spaces so there are areas that can be looked at with sitting areas to relax and take in the aromas and have quiet contemplation/ meditation.
I used to do these with flowers, shrubs as little focal points that drew the eye through one space to the next.

Can't wait to see what you come up with in collaboration with the client.

Redhawk
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
Posts: 568
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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Here's the promised drawing, the situation of the garden as it is now (sorry, text in Dutch language)
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
234
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hau Inge, What a wonderful design, I like the layout very much.

My wife is Blackfoot/ Dutch so I am learning the language as I have time.

I am Nakota/ Irish/ German

Redhawk
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
Posts: 568
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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Next week the garden owner and I will meet again. I cut some different size circles from colored magazine photos (most greenish colours, plants a.a.) we can put on the map to represent trees, shrubs and groups of perennial plants. I hope this will help imagine the new garden lay-out.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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One of these freeware programs might be useful to you.

C-Net freeware downloads

free garden design

free garden design 10 programs


Redhawk
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
Posts: 568
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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Thank you, but I like drawing by hand (with pencils, pen, brush and watercolours on paper)
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Awesome. We are alike that way then. 

Redhawk
 
Nicole Alderman
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Awesome opportunity to incorporate what is already in place to create a picture.

I love to design garden spaces so there are areas that can be looked at with sitting areas to relax and take in the aromas and have quiet contemplation/ meditation.
I used to do these with flowers, shrubs as little focal points that drew the eye through one space to the next.

Can't wait to see what you come up with in collaboration with the client.

Redhawk


Another option would be to incorporate the sitting areas into raised beds. If you make the raised beds edged by cement blocks or wood rounds, or even maybe cob (I don't know much about cob) sculpted to be more ergonomic. The wide edging on the raised bed will allow her to sit to garden, as well as to sit to think and enjoy the garden. A lot of my garden beds are edged with wood rounds, and I really like that aspect. I am frequently found just sitting there, relaxing, pulling weeds as I relax, or just enjoying the view, or sitting and talking with my son sitting beside me, or sitting and munching on the food in said garden bed. And, if the garden beds are close enough to each other (perhaps on either sides of some of the paths or where the paths intersect), she could sit and chat with guests right there at her garden beds!
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
Posts: 568
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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Nicole Alderman wrote:... Another option would be to incorporate the sitting areas into raised beds.... The wide edging on the raised bed will allow her to sit to garden...
Nicole, it's a good idea. I will keep it in mind. But in this case it isn't necessary. She has a nice sitting area (it's somewhat like a porch). The garden itself does not need any more sitting area(s). The most important (in her case) is: more edible plants in the garden.
 
Thyri Gullinvargr
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I'm new to permaculture so take this with whatever grains of salt you want to. I remember several years ago reading about a University that put down grass and no sidewalks. They waited for some period of time until paths naturally developed in the grass then they put the sidewalks in those places. This meant the sidewalks were in the places that people naturally walked which kept people from wearing down the grass.

The reason I mention this is because since you have existing paths from where your friend walks, it seems to me that good design would incorporate these existing paths because these are the ways your friend naturally moves. Another thought is that the places where the walking paths are now are where the soil is probably most compacted. That can be changed of course but it might be another reason for working with her natural patterns.

Actually if I'm reading your drawing correctly, the existing paths seem to suggest the trunk and branches of a tree to me. In gaia's garden by toby hemenway he talks about about using natural patterns for path patterns. One of those was, not a tree pattern, but a leaf pattern with the paths being like the veins of the leaf. This had a large main path with smaller and smaller paths going off of it. The large main path was big enough for taking something like a wheel barrel down and paths got smaller for areas that needed less access or access less often.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
Posts: 568
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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Thank you Thyri. I like your idea very much. You're right: paths forming from walking are the right paths.
The paths that are here now, are right for the current situation. But she wants the situation to change. The new situation must have more, more accessible, beds with edible plants.
The idea I have in mind now is like the 'veins' or 'branches' you mentioned, but fanning out from the middle circle.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
234
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Inge,  What you describe is what my people would refer to as a medicine wheel design.  SWEET!
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
Posts: 568
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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First I made a new design plan on transparent paper. Then we sat at the table together (the garden owner and me) and played a little with the circles cut from photo. Her idea was to make a 'gate' with climbers (like kiwi, blackberry, a.a.). She cut the shape roughly from a piece of paper. It doesn't show well in the design plan, but I think it will look very nice in the real garden!




 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
Posts: 568
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
66
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and she wants to have a little pond in the garden (with rainwater harvesting). We do not yet know where ... that's the next thing to figure out ...
 
Liz Hoxie
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Location: Ellisforde, WA
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What about in the middle of the "medicine wheel"? After all, water is the "hub" of Life!
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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Liz Hoxie wrote:What about in the middle of the "medicine wheel"? After all, water is the "hub" of Life!

Liz, I think of a little bowl of water (a 'bird bath') in the middle of the herb circle. But somewhere else there has to be a 'frog pond', maybe even a 'fish pond'.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Rain water harvesting is best done by gathering from a roof area (lots more water can be gathered than just falling from the sky into a tank or pond) by re routing down spouts from the gutters.
I notice a dashed line area marked water, that could be extended along the border for a nice fish/ frog pond perhaps.
In the center you could maybe do a two or three tier bird bath which would allow more rain water to be gathered for the watering of the herb circle.

The design is looking good.

Redhawk
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
Posts: 568
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Rain water harvesting is best done by gathering from a roof area (lots more water can be gathered than just falling from the sky into a tank or pond) by re routing down spouts from the gutters.
I notice a dashed line area marked water, that could be extended along the border for a nice fish/ frog pond perhaps.
In the center you could maybe do a two or three tier bird bath which would allow more rain water to be gathered for the watering of the herb circle.
The design is looking good.
Redhawk

Yes, the dashed line indicates one of the possibilities for a pond. At that side it could get the rainwater from the roof of the house. The other idea is to have it near the shed, with the rainwater from the shed's roof.
 
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