Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Not a Knot Garden

When I first began to garden, one of the To Do's on my list was a Knot Garden. I drew up plans and even began to price plants. The dream lasted for quite a few years as one of those Someday projects.

Someday I'll have the time, the money . . . but then I realized that without major bulldozer work I also didn't have a large  flat area near the house to accommodate the garden of my dreams.  Ah, well...

But I was determined at least to have a herb garden -- parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme -- as well as dill, rue, lovage,  tarragon, fennel, basil, oregano, pineapple sage, cilantro, catnip,, bay, pineapple sage, perilla, and clary sage ... 

Most of these are in what we call the Box Garden -- not tiny hedges of perfectly trimmed boxwood, alas. but eight long boxes of soil.
The herbs are above the wall and in the four end boxes while the four center boxes are used for vegetables -- this year they hold  lettuce, beets, onions, sweet potatoes, collards and broccoli. 

It's not elegant like a knot garden but it's do-able  -- and it suits our rural idiom.
The bay laurel and rosemary are in pots, as they must winter over in the greenhouse.
The bay below was a tiny sprig in a cup when I bought it about twenty -five years ago. 

 Willowbrook Park blog (from New Zealand) has a nice overview of knot gardens for those of you who might be tempted . . .

Meanwhile, at last I'm putting in a lovely knot garden -- in the book I'm currently writing.
 
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22 comments:

Ms. A said...

I'd be happy for a bigger yard and your rock wall. Actually, I do have the land (in Carolina) but I refuse to leave my kids and grandkids, to live there. *sigh

Reader Wil said...

This is the first time I heard about a knotgarden. It's beautiful, but I prefer a natural garden like you have.

Desiree said...

I guess we all cherish a long held dream we have not yet fulfilled, but we fill our lives with many other more do-able projects. Your garden is perfectly lovely and practical and a lot less fussy. The amount of effort required to maintain a knot garden must be considerable, but I do agree they are ever so charming. I think you've reached a great compromise creating a knot garden in your next novel ;)

RNSANE said...

How nice to be able to have a yard to garden at all! The house I've rented for 13 years is cement in the back and gardening is possible for me onl in containers. Your herbs sound wonderful...I just love perilla! I had it, for the first time, when I visited Japan. I like its taste and brought seeds back with me and didn't ever plant them. I'd love to have containers of arugula because I'd put it in everything.

I never heard of a knot garden till now. At least, you will have it in your book - it will never need weeding an watering there!

Victoria said...

I like your garden so much better, Vicki. A knot garden can be pretty, but all the plants always look so rigid and tortured to me.

I love your new header photo!

Martin H. said...

Do you have this one in your herb garden, Vicki? I only heard about it, recently. Rosmarinus officinalis 'Green Ginger'
Green Ginger Rosemary.

Miss_Yves said...

I'm curious to read the description of the knot garden of your dreams in your next book!
In fact what you call a "knot garden "is un parterre à la française ou à l'italienne?(En Français dans le texte !)
Your own lovely natural garden is seen as "un jardin à l'anglaise", for French People
Is there already a french translation of "Under the skin" ?

Brian Miller said...

knot gardens are a whole lot easier to manage in books...smiles. they look wonderful and i think it would be cool to have one...i think you have a rather nice garden though already...

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

You have one of the prettiest gardens around Vicki, not or knot. As you said, it suits your surroundings so well. I'm passing this on to my brother-in-law who will be moving from the big city to a rural area near us. He'll love your ideas.
Sam

jennyfreckles said...

I like your arrangement better. Much more realistic unless you have a gardener. I have some herbs in my yard this year - hooray. Only mint, parsley and coriander (cilantro) so far but they're doing well.

Carol@The Writers Porch said...

I would much rather live at Full Circle Farm than on this flat ground!
I love you tier gardens!

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, I'm very happy with my garden -- the knot garden would have been wildly impractical.

RNSane -A friend gave me a single plant of perilla (the Japanese shiso) about ten years ago and pops up all over my garden now.

Martin -- green ginger rosemary sounds intriguing -- I'll have to look for it.

Miss Yves -- Alas, only the first two books have been translated into French.

Jill said...

Your garden is beautiful. Your dog looks very content in your photo. One of our neighbor's has a labyrinth garden created with beds like yours. Knot gardens are very pretty I enjoy looking at them, but can't imagine the maintenance.

Thérèse said...

Your dream of a "knot garden" were translated into books so got materialized. And a "nature garden", as French people call it, is practical and so useful cooking wise. Plus you get to visit it, smell it, tend to it with the time and mind you have that day... without going by the book...

Louise said...

They're beautiful, but, I can see where they'd be a lot of work. My big dream has always been to have my yard become one big woodland garden, with paths running through it. That'll never happen, either. But, I dream about it still.

NCmountainwoman said...

I love to look at knot gardens and those made into mazes. I have no area for a garden, but I do grow fresh herbs on my deck.

Bouncin' Barb said...

Other than a maze I've never seen a knot garden. I learned something new today. Thanks!

Joan said...

The knot gardens are amazing but I do like your herb garden. It is quite orderly but very natural too. I always think of Beatrix Potter who liked her garden to 'look natural.. a little messy'.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Vicki -- as an old friend told me once -- all good things take time -- barbara

Register domain name said...

This is first time i heard about Knot Garden and i really like this place because garden looks so nice and lovely.

Kath said...

The knot garden is lovely and intriguing. The herb garden is gloriously beautiful.

Ellis Vidler said...

Aside from the gorgeous pictures and meeting Xena for the first time, I love your lavender bench--a perfect touch for your garden.