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Quote of the Day: Garden Structures

March 9th, 2014

Organizational structure is essential to the garden’s functional and aesthetic success. The paths, arbors, hedges, and other elements that create it are the garden’s bones. They hold the garden up, define it’s form, expand it’s possibilities and bring it to life. They are the framework on which the garden grows.

Linda Joan Smith (Smith & Hawken Garden Structures)

building_rock_pathways_in_the_garden 1
My previous garden waiting 6 years before pathways and hedges started to form a framework. I was hoping to get things going sooner here, but I’m still trying to figure out exactly where everything will be. This isn’t something you want to rush either since many of the features that add form to the garden are rather difficult and expensive to change.
boxwood hedge 1
Defining the form in a garden, it’s something I think about all winter as I look at the garden around me. Not only is it a good time to do it because there aren’t any plants to distract you, it’s also a good time because you have time.

What kind of framework do you have in your garden? Is it something you notice & appreciate in winter? Do you need to add features that add framework to your garden?

6 Comments to “Quote of the Day: Garden Structures”
  1. Ilene on March 9, 2014 at 8:37 am

    I’m really bad about this part, my garden reflects my A.D.D. nature, several projects in progress at the same time, bordering on neglect. I’m working on a stone walk, somewhat like you show, but I haven’t set mine down into the ground yet, and I’ve been trying to fit them together closely, almost like a jigsaw puzzle. I like the way it looks but sometimes I have to wait till the next digging project, to unearth a rock in just the right shape. I did a post on that last September called “A Little Dab’ll Do Ya”, in case you want to see. At this point I’m kind of wondering about what I’m going to do about the grass that grows in between the rocks.

    Reply to Ilene's comment

    • Lemongrass on March 9, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      plant thyme or spearmint in the space between the stones. i am doing the same thing with my walkway.

      Reply to Lemongrass's comment

  2. KimH on March 9, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Ilene.. mow that grass between the rocks.. :)

    I do need to find some sort of bordering for a little garden I dug up a couple years ago next to my neighbors garage.. Its a fruit bed and its filled with all sorts of goodies… The grass definitely creeps in and I need to stop that.. I try to keep it covered with hay and leaves but its also got a lot of Creeping Charlie in it and it does like to take over… Hopefully this year I’ll be able to get it cleaned up & fixed up so that it looks nice all the time. I have plastic barrier we inherited and it should help a little bit but I plan to hide it from sight somehow too.

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  3. foyupdate on March 9, 2014 at 8:49 am

    One of the Garden Rant ladies had a post years ago about how a blanket of snow is the best blank canvas for a gardener. I thought about that frequently this winter as the garden sat under feet of snow!

    Reply to foyupdate's comment

  4. Chris on March 10, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Yes, you’re right, winter is the best time to take a step back and study the bones of your garden and try and decide what should go where…too much leafy stuff gets in the way during the growing season. :)
    I am a sucker for stone work in the yard and garden and the older, the better!
    We have a beautiful stone wall that runs all along the front of our yard, it has a gentle serpentine shape (no straight lines in my garden) and because it is almost 25 yrs. old it has developed that beautiful patina of lichens, salal, ferns and moss. The same with some of our stone paths and steps! I think the more natural the materials are in the garden the better they blend in with the plantings.
    Think Spring! :)

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  5. Jane Scorer on March 11, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    The ‘blanket of snow’ comment is an interesting one, which I have been pondering upon. I can see how it would place the focus firmly upon the structure of the garden. I think it is the idle pondering we do in the winter, when gazing upon those bare bones, that fuels new plans and projects.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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