OT- Formal garden style (X-posted cottage garden)

lavender_lassNovember 7, 2011

I know a lot of you garden and I wondered if any of you have a more formal garden style? I'm expanding my kitchen garden and looking for ideas for either a round center bed or four small beds with grass paths. Kind of leaning towards the round bed with a bird bath or sundial in the middle, but it would be 10' to 11' across and I'll need paths, stepping stones, something to reach the center and access the plants. Any ideas? Thanks in advance :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to cottage garden post

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LL I am afraid I am not much help. I do as you do and mix veggies and flowers. I would kind of like a more formal style and then I find myself mixing it all up again and letting the plants duke it out.

For my eye I think I would prefer the round center with wide paths of lawn through or to it. BUT then you have to be careful not to mow the grass clippings into your flower beds and keep making weeds(grass) for yourself to keep having to pull.

I am too lazy to make this yard more work for me.Until I know if I will ever be able to really garden again I am holding off even thinking about more flower beds.

I had a thought. I have an old water tank in what was my potager. Would be lovely to have raised beds to plant in in your area. I think this is the only picture from this year I have of it. Later in the season the morning glories grew up and covered the arches. I never did get a picture of that. Darn it all. I MUST be well next year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Big tank

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 6:30PM
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Lav, I recommend a quick Google search for the topic "formal kitchen garden."

In colonial days, they had lovely gardens and some were edged in boxwoods they kept low, and then inside they planted their veggies. I saw quite a few of these in Ireland, and also up in Charleston SC. I know you love your herbs, and that is what I was thinking as fill for the nicely edged formal beds.

But not wanting to repost an image of such a garden, I just say, go look about half way down the page of the search I suggest, and you'll see a Summerfield style drawing of the plants in such a garden. Spokes of a wheel, coming together with something nice, such as a birdbath, a sundial, a statue on a pedestal, or a big pot of grass spraying out like a huge fountain.

I do edge my beds, down in zone 8B Alabama, but I only have a few boxwood. Most of my edging is the big leriope/lilyturf which is dark green, has purple or white bloom stalks and gets maybe 12-18 inches high depending on the variety. For your garden, I do not think it will be hardy enough. The POTAGER is a "formal kitchen garden."
A lot of beauty in it too.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 6:31PM
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Shades, formal style gardening does not segregate flowers from veggies. Both are equally lovely, and appropriate. I saw some gorgeous ARTICHOKES in a garden in Ireland, along with onions, and then the rosemary and the daisies and other things as well. Remember "medicinal purposes." Many gorgeous plants were used to keep down the vapors of the flu and plague and so were found in the formal garden.

Wish I had a cattle watering tank. I'd use it as a swimming pool. Actually, the black tanks would heat up and be a HOT TUB, and maybe I could provide hot water for everything except cooking, if I can prevent "make water" in it. Ahem.

As long as you have skin and hand issues, digging in the dirt will be off your to do list. I hope you get some relief soon.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 7:33PM
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Shades- I have always liked your tank garden...but how do you get morning glories to do so well? We don't seem to have enough warm weather, but maybe the raised bed makes a difference?

I hope you're feeling better soon...I know this has been a rough summer for you. Maybe next year will be better :)

ML- Thanks for the suggestion. It's difficult to find many formal gardeners, on the forum. The potager forum just hasn't been that busy and while there are a few on the cottage garden forum, most people prefer a more casual approach.

With our pastures and fields, I think the formal layout and informal plantings are a nice balance...and I like that they look a little european. Since my husband is Italian, I call it the kitchen garden...which his mom loves, too. She doesn't garden anymore but likes the way everything is grown together :)

I'd love to have a rose in the center of the garden, either a big shrub rose or a climber...but the deer would just walk in and eat it. Then they might start looking at my other garden beds and wonder if I'm hiding roses there...and I'd really be in trouble! LOL

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 8:05PM
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ML you reminded me of one flower bed I edged in chives. Seriously. This was a bed about 40 foot long and 10 foot deep . Three sides solid chives. Was so pretty and the chives helped keep the grass back. I just poked small clumps in and in a couple of years it was solid. I LOVE chives.

LL I do not know how the morning glories do so well. Actually they do better in the ground than in the tanks. Next year I think I will scratch some seed into the ground outside the tank and then guide them up to the arches. This year they did nothing until the middle of June then they just shot up.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 10:26PM
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How cold does it get at night in the summer? I think that's been my problem, since it's usually about 55 at night. My mom's house is up on the hill, a few miles away and her morning glories are beautiful, but it's warmer at night and her frost free season is about a month to six weeks longer. Our frost free season is usually the first of June through the third or fourth week of August. Short! I know :)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 11:01AM
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I noticed some morning glories coming up last week. I thought the drought and heat got them all. They don't grow well for me without tons of water.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 12:45PM
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Marti- Do you have any pictures of your morning glories? I love those and they're so pretty!

ML- You asked me about the views through my arches...well here's a few :)

Here's the view through the new arches...don't pay any attention to my shadow (LOL)

From Lavender's Garden

And here's a view through the other arches

From Lavender's Garden

Here's a view, through the arbor, of the new bench. Obviously, the ground is not completely flat and I need to level things, next spring From Lavender's Garden

And, here's the view, from the new bench, through the arbor

From Lavender's Garden

I really like the Merilia's idea for the new bed, which combines the round bed, with the focal point and four beds, with paths! From Lavender's Garden

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 7:43PM
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How about KUDZU!!!!!!

It is against the law to plant KUDZU in the city of Atlanta.
Seriously, I was told that. It grows about a foot a day.

And Shades, I have collected a lot of garden phlox seed from plants here in MA, which I might be persuaded to send you because they love naturally reseeding. Shades of pink. I could not possibly use all of them in Mobile, my yard is not big enough. Just let me know and I'll mail them.

Also, Lavender, phlox would be good for you too. I like things which reseed but are not invasive. Another thing which would work for you, and look great, is vinca major, which is the evergreen version of the periwinkle. It is normally lavender in flower color, and up here in zone 5b MA, it stays green beneath the snow and springs to life early next year. Also, Lily of the Valley and Bleeding Hearts. Lily of Valley to me is very aggressive, but if you have a rocky slope, it would do very well. Those plants all love the cold.

And I agree that CHIVES is a surprisingly great choice. I had a small pot begun up here about 5 years ago, and left alone to its own devices all this time, even wintering outdoors in the pot, it grew to fill a 12 inch diameter pot. so this year I put it in the ground to sort of stop the voles from mining the spot next to the covered patio. Those voles devoured all of the 40 year old hosta bed, but I think chives stopped them.

And I'm not sure if garlic repels deer or not, but I do not think chives and other alliums are prime fare for deer. Lavender, you might look into the big big alliums, in the onion family. They do not stink like onions, but they might not be tasty to a deer. :)

Love to talk about gardening. When you have a small home, the garden is definitely part of your living space.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 7:46PM
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OH LL I LOVE the last picture . It would be Gorgeous with your pretty arbors. The newest one with bells is wonderful.Well they all are but I am drawn to the bells too.

I think it would be in the 60's here maybe 70's on summer nights. We usually leave the house opened up and it is not too cold to do so. I never pay all that much attention to the temp at night. I remember once the heater came on and woke us up in a hurry. LOL WHAT WAS THAT??? When you are not used to hearing it.

Our neighbor one block away and just a bit lower can be easily 10 degrees colder at his house then we are. We are on the beginning rise of a hill AND the Morning Glories are growing in an even higher berm the what we call the lower yard. They did not do great in the court yard as I had hoped. Maybe next year. I have scads of holly hock seeds I hope to gather and plant in the court yard outer flower bed.Maybe they will do better then the morning glories.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 7:59PM
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I can't find a single picture of my blooming morning glories. I had made a teepee out of tree support posts and had them growing up them. They were almost solid around it - a kid's dream playground.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 9:04PM
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ML- Phlox are nice! Lily of the Valley and Bleeding Heart...I love them at my mom's, but don't grow them at my house. I'm a bit obsessive about poisonous plants, between the nieces/nephews, the horses, and the barn kitties...there are a lot of plants that are too dangerous to grow. Foxgloves are another one. Between the cold and the kids, I have a pretty limited list, but Shades, the chives are a great idea! :)

Deer do not like many of the pungent/frangrant herbs and onions, chives, etc. Bee balm, lavender, mints detract them too. It's pretty cute when the baby deer come up for the first time, because I'll find one coneflower bud missing or a little tomato plant and they never seem to try them again.

Shades- I know, there's something so neat about those bells. They're not tinny, but a soft, deeper clang, which is perfect. I was going to put the bench in the fairy garden, but when we decided to expand the kitchen garden, it seemed like the perfect fit. More of a breeze for the bells, too :)

Marti- Your morning glories sound wonderful! I wish I could grow them like that...but at least the clematis is coming along. Hopefully, lots of purple flowers on the arbor and white flowers on the arches next year!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 9:55PM
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Waiting to go down to city hall to find out results of election. Since the only contested race was for Mayor and the one running against incumbent, Andy, happens to be in jail I am pretty sure every one will continue to be seated. So I will talk gardening for a minute. You all will get a kick out of this link. This happened right across the street from us. Kitty corner. this is the BAD guy that has been driving me crazy all summer and causing a lot of my health issues. Call it Karma. LOL Imagine having to sit out election day in jail. Their son is also still in jail with Dad.

ML we must have been posting at the same time. Sorry I missed your offer. Would love seeds to share and ones that self seed are always the best. Will get back to you with address.

Marti I just HATE it when a picture has gone missing. I have been looking for one myself for several days on and off and I am usually so careful to file them where I think I will remember. LOL

I have had chives from the original bunch planted in old flat sinks for several years. I need to get them into the ground. They do nicely in the sinks and go crazy in the ground. Love them. To eat and I think they are pretty blooming or not. I do try to keep a patch by the back door or front door as both are handy to the kitchen.

I am going to strip the morning glory vines from the dog yard fence and toss them in the court yard flower bed again and hoping this time they will take. I had lots last year just not as happy as I had hoped they would be. Course my husband took almost total care of the yard and he did a great job. But he is not a gardener. I was totally thankful for his help. Next year I must be well. And I will be.

OK Time to get on the road. Catch you all a little later.


Here is a link that might be useful: Bad times.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 9:59PM
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Shades- How has this guy been causing you health problems? Is he one of those 'nasty neighbors' that causes a lot of stress, to everyone around him? Maybe his new neighbors/cell mates, will have him appreciating all of his former neighbors :)

Kind of makes you wonder what laws he was hoping to enact, if he became mayor...

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 11:52AM
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Since I am the city clerk he has been going around telling every one I am doing things all wrong and illegal yada yada yada. This is a tiny town and there are many that will listen to him as I am not a favorite around town after stopping a good old boy ring of old town rulers that were dipping from the city coffers. This is pretty much a bass ackwards kind of tiny town.Gives real meaning to red neck.

The stress he has been causing me is of constantly having to prove what he is saying about me is not true.Frustration because I should not be having to deal with this crap. I work so hard for this little city. With my careful watch I brought this town in 15K under budget this year in the general fund. Considering the budget was ruffly 59K I did very well handling the tax payers dollars!!! Not me actually I do not run the city. BUT I kept the council appraised on where they stood at every decision financially. Before me they were running amuck. I could go on for hours on the waste before I came on scene. Needless to say bad boys are not happy I have lightened their and their relatives personal pockets.

Any way all of this started another psoriasis flair up for me. I have not brought it under control yet. It is very painful with hands and feet splitting and bleeding at the drop of a hat. Sunday my hands were clear of splits. Yesterday I had 16 new bloody splits on fingers and palms. And I did not do this with my mosaics on the hoosier Sunday.See gadget thread on the other side here. Hoping now the election is over and bad boy lost and the rest of my council but one are great the next couple of years will mellow out. Sorry for the rant. I am still pretty wound up.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 1:19PM
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Oh Chris, I am so sorry. My dd is up against the same time of malicious gossip, only the person talking about her is 300 miles away and turning dd's friends against her. It is very hurtful and very stressful to defend yourself against untruth. I feel for you.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 1:45PM
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Shades- Well, this should show people what this guy is all about! Thank goodness he's in jail and you won't have to deal with him for a while. I think when you're under a lot of stress, it's so hard to keep going...but you have and that shows what a strong person you are.

Maybe you could get a T-shirt that says...I saved the town $15,000 and I did it without going to jail. Just a thought :)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 3:35PM
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LOL, I love that LL.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 10:39AM
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LOL At the T shirt. Loving it LL Too funny.

I was looking at that round picture above and I think you could add some herbs and vegies in the quarter planters around the circle and still keep it formal looking.

I would love to have some thing like this here.I am guessing the center is a fountain. Going to save your picture.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 12:00AM
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If for some reason you cannot put in an actual fountain, I've seen it done as a big clump of cascading GRASS. It looks like it is spouting up, and when it is on a pedestal, that looks exactly like a fountain.

Well, I hear the DH coming to fuss that I'm not in bed yet, and the PODS arrives in the morning. So, off I go.
Tata, see you all later.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 12:07AM
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ML- LOL! I hope the PODS went well, this morning :)

Well, we had snow and lots of wind last night, which blew over some of my arches, including the one, over my birdbath. Luckily, the clematis didn't get broken!

So, I decided to take this as a sign and took out the two new arches and put one in the center, which is now 18' from the new bench. (Notice the wind blew my chairs over, too.) This will give me 21' with the depth of the bench by about 30' for my potager. This is still really big and with less grass...a lot more work. We'll fence just this part of the garden, to keep the deer out and maybe I can finally try growing corn and asparagus! :) From Lavender's Garden

Here's the other arch, now giving my little Bleu Magenta rose (which took off like a weed this summer) a little support. I think I'll plant a clematis on the other side. Ignore the porch...I started taking off the old paint, but it got too cold to paint this fall. I think this will be a pretty area of the garden, next spring :) From Lavender's Garden

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 7:14PM
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Wind here too. I just heard the table blow over.

I like your arch with the bench. That is a good one to have with your view. Is your current home near the farmhouse you are going to remodel so you have the garden nearby?

Good luck ML!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 11:57AM
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Not that we cannot do some part of the garden normally, but for some folks who have their limits, I provide this link.

The person who wrote the material (most of it) is in a wheelchair, has a garden and gift shop, keeps a pond, and has no thoughts of giving up on gardening. Neither do I. Plus, this site where the information is located also has some forums so many gather there to swap experiences.

Anyway, here is the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Handicap Accessible Gardening

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 8:31PM
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OH Great link ML. Have it bookmarked. Thanks Going to take some time to get through all of this information.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 10:36AM
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