The elegance of this garden immediately caught my attention when I was browsing through Fine Gardening's garden photo section for some garden inspiration.
Photo: Courtesy of Barbara Nuffer via Fine Gardening
Since our property is so large and we really don't want to be a slave to the garden as I have been in the past, the general thinking has been to design raised beds around large paths. Barbara's garden in upstate New York is exactly what has been going through my mind. Click on the Fine Gardening link to read the entire article featuring her garden and more photos.
An excerpt from the article . . .
"This garden is a raised bed. The shape is a 20-foot-diameter circle with a gravel path at ground level leading to a fountain in the center of the circle, and continuing to a bench. The outer perimeter of the garden is a 2-foot-tall stone wall. The interior wall is pressure treated 1 x 6s cut into 3-foot lengths and sunk into the ground 12 inches. Since portions of this wall are curved, we used metal strapping nailed to the back of the pieces of wood to hold it in place. They are slanted slightly back towards the bed. The shape is really pretty in winter as the sun sets behind it. A natural stream is down the hill behind the garden so you hear running water as a backdrop.
We lined the bed with black plastic with some drainage holes punched in it. My soil mixture included 6 cubic foot bags of coarse texture vermiculite. We mixed this with potting soil that contained lots of peat. This was suitable because I was planning to use acid-loving plants. We also mixed in two parts of topsoil. The proportions were one part vermiculite to one part potting soil to two parts topsoil. The bed was well moistened and mulched with finely ground cedar bark."