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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If you want a consultation in your yard in N.W. Georgia, send me an email at wherdepony@bellsouth.net

Published by John P.Schulz

I lost my vocal cords a while back due to throat cancer. The laryngectomy sent me on a quest to find and learn to use my new, altered voice. I am able to talk now with a really small and neat new prosthesis. My writing reflects what I have learned in my search for a voice. My site johnschulzauthor.com publishes a daily motivational quote and a personal comment. I write an article a week for my blog, johntheplantman.com which deals with a lot of the things that I do in the garden. I am also the author of Requiem for a Redneck and the new Redemption for a Redneck--novels portraying the lives and doings of folks around the north Georgia hills. I have an English Education degree from the University of Georgia and very happily married to the lovely Dekie Hicks. You may enjoy my daily Quotes and Notes at http://johnschulzauthor.com/

10 thoughts on “A new garden style? Call it “Country Formal”

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

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

  3. 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.”)

  4. 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!!!

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