A new garden style? Call it “Country Formal”

I really don’t know what we will call this garden, but I’m sure something will present itself as time goes by. The garden is out in the country and the main problem is weed control. The invasive grasses that invade with underground stolons are the worst. They are hard to control because if you pull them they get worse. We will prevail, though, through good design and maintenance. I started with a scaled drawing

For something really special, I always use a scaled drawing

For something really special, I always use a scaled drawing

We will have a pretty formal looking brick lined garden in the center of the project. This garden is designed to be low maintenance, meditative, interactive, and visually pleasing. The raised beds will be bordered by a “no grow” zone for the control of invasive weeds. The floor of this zone will be river gravel and the plantings will be in containers. I can think of all sorts of benefits that will present themselves with this idea. Irrigation will be through drip tubes and regulated with a clock. We start with a stake in the center of the garden to use as a pivot point.

using a stake and a nail as a pivot point

using a stake and a nail as a pivot point

I love my ‘pistola de pentura’ (paint gun). I can tie one end of a string to the stake in the center of the garden and another to the paint gun. An accurate 30 foot circle can then be drawn just like we did it in grammar school.

Using inverted marking paint to put the design on the ground

Using inverted marking paint to put the design on the ground

We begin installing the bricks keeping in mind that we will add four inches of compost on the inside and three inches of cypress mulch to the pathways.

installing the border

installing the border

One of the good things about building country style is that “you can’t mess up country style.” One of the hard things is that when you run into a problem, there are no guidelines or rules. We had to think a bit about how to make the center circle stable and visually pleasing.

design problem

design problem

I liked the view of the garden from this corner. We took particular care to design and build around the beautiful eucalyptus tree. I think it will be a wonderful background focal point.

beds and paths prepared

beds and paths prepared

Our next step will be to enhance the perimeter of the garden with an entrance planting and a sitting area in the shade under the magnolia tree. I’m really excited about this project. I hope you are enjoying it, too.

garden from entrance

garden from entrance

Before leaving the job, I stood and looked at this quadrant for a while. I still don’t have the planting design worked out, but I am a man of faith.

Planting area

Planting area

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Connie Burnes
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 09:41:16

    Looking good, John!!! I could see a water feature in the center! Can’t wait to see what you come up with. 🙂 cb

    Reply

  2. Margaret
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 16:35:55

    John, This is beautiful. Margaret

    Reply

  3. Jane
    Aug 30, 2012 @ 08:59:18

    Looks great. Ours, on the other hand, is ‘Country Informal’. Probably examples of every invasive plant adapted to Iowa! Still identifying a few.

    Reply

  4. pbmgarden
    Aug 30, 2012 @ 19:07:54

    You make this look so easy! I like the way this is coming together.

    Reply

  5. John Schulz
    Sep 01, 2012 @ 10:53:58

    Thanks for the comments, Ladies.
    The problem is that the client will offer no help on what we will plant.
    I’m thinking of a “four seasons” theme, but I’m not quite sure what that means.
    Any thoughts?
    (Client’s remark: “I hired you to do something special. That’s my only input. Let’s see what you can do. Give me a bill when you need to.”)

    Reply

  6. Rose Ware
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 20:42:59

    I can see this as a vegetable garden!!! Lettuces in one section,
    onions, carrots, asparagus in another, green larger plants such as squashes, eggplants, artichokes, mAybe a second lettuce
    section (because they are so colorful. Also mix in some English
    garden annuals to fill in where tall or shorts are needed to
    balance quadrants. I don’t know where you live, so of course,
    plants what does well in your area!!!

    Reply

  7. Trackback: Cotton in Alabama, a Flagpole, and a Fall VegetableGarden « johntheplantman's Landscaping Ideas from a Veteran Gardener
  8. Trackback: How to Cover Ugly Concrete With Brick Pavers « johntheplantman's Landscaping Ideas from a Veteran Gardener
  9. Trackback: Planting Tulips in the “Country Formal” cut flower garden. « Johntheplantman's stories, musings, and gardening.
  10. Trackback: Prepare for weed management—A rustic perennial bed in the country | Johntheplantman's stories, musings, and gardening.

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