Finally ready to post some pics of my new garden (lots of them)

peachymomo(Ca 8)June 24, 2013

I've been working on my Spiral Garden for about a year and a half now, and I'm finally ready to share some photos. This area was hot, ugly, and weedy before I started working on it, now I think it's the prettiest part of our yard. The inspiration actually came from a necessity to both cover up but leave accessible the covers for the septic tank and grey water systems, which happen to be offset oddly so that they could not be contained by a neat path and needed something swooped.

So voila, my spiral garden was born:

This one is taken from the other direction and shows the nice privacy trellis my DH built, there are some Clytostoma callistegioides vines on it that I planted in April. They are pretty small now but growing fast and I can't wait to see what they look like when they bloom.

This spot gets an odd mix of sun and shade so I wasn't sure what to plant, to get a better idea of what would do well where I decided to plant a mix of sun and shade lovers. I got a pair of seed mixes 'Fairy Meadow' and 'Made in the Shade' and I scattered both liberally in the spiral. I am very pleased with the result, it's a nice chaotic profusion of flowers.

I planted foxgloves to give some color and interest while the vines are growing in, they are doing even better than I expected.

I don't know what this flower is, but I love it!

Borage wasn't in either of the mixes, in came in some old potting soil I used to help fill in the low part of the spiral. I couldn't take it out because I love it and so do the bees.

Nasturtiums also came in with old potting soil, they are one of my favorite flowers.

These poppies are breathtaking, I've never had them before and I think I will continue to plant them from now on.

You can see my new Japanese Maple in the background of this one, it's a common seedling and I'm quite taken with it.

I think this is Clarkia unguiculata, I love the vibrant color, it's another first in my garden.

Little Johnny-Jump-Ups stretching for sun.

One last shot that shows the rocks I gathered from the backyard and placed as a border. DH thought I was crazy at the time, now he's really impressed by how good it looks.

Thanks for looking, I think this is the most beautiful garden I've ever created, it inspires me to work harder on the front. ;o)

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cyn427 (zone 7)

Wow oh wow! That is absolutely wonderful. I love everything about it. You are a green-thumbed genius. Thanks for sharing your pics. I always wondered what those seed mixes would do and now I may just have to give them a whirl! Isn't it marvelous when an idea actually ends up working out so beautifully?!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 3:43PM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

Well aren't you a smart cookie! Pretty cool was to solve a problem area. All the flowers are so pretty. And chaotic is the perfect pretty word to describe them.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Well done; it looks lovely!! I like the mix of colors, the shape and overall look of the bed. It will be interesting to see which plants self-seed for next growing season. Are any of your plants perennials, or are they all annuals?

In my garden the poppies self-sow anywhere I don't have mulch, and even in some areas there is mulch. I leave the heads on until they get really ratty looking because I love the shape and the finches love the seeds. The seedlings don't transplant well, but any in unwanted areas pull up easily.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 6:33PM
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Ditto all the above kudos--you've got a good eye for design & great ideas for seeing it all to completion. My own beds were sown with bees, butterflies & birds in mind but I still kept my eyes on the prize to be sure the end results pleased those eyes.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 6:57PM
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memo(Zone 4B Nebraska)

Oh, that is really lovely. I just adore all the color and wild abandon. Can't wait to see the screen all filled in with vines, it's going to be a beautiful addition to your garden as well. Nice work!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 8:57PM
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I really like it too. A "Spiral Garden" - I love that idea. I might have to steal it! And Memo is right, the wild abandon works so well. I also planted a seed mix for the first time this year, but my seedlings are still very small and need thinning - or so I thought. Perhaps I'll just let them duke it out.

All the plants are beautiful, especially those Foxglove; and I adore Borage. Once had it in a border down in the orchard but it disappeared, I must try it again next year but somewhere else where I can tend to it.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 10:11PM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

Some of the most interesting garden features evolve from having to solve "problems". Thanks you for sharing your unusual Spiral Garden. We just put some major touches on our nearly-completed 1.5 year problem area project (encompassing the entire back yard-lol). The whole family finds themselves looking at it and repeating comments about the positive changes. I suspect you have the same feeling while looking at the flowers that grace your spiral. And I bet the butterflies and other insects are happy, too.
Love the poppy; I really must give them a try next year!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 12:26AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

Thanks everyone!

It's very nice when hard work and patience finally pays off, I think gardening is a great lesson in delayed gratification. You get some instant impact when you make a new bed, but it gets really good after the plants have some time to grow.

The mixes I planted were both mostly annuals, but they also have some biennials and perennials. There are quite a few little columbine plants tucked around but you can only see them when you look up close. The annuals are supposed to reseed, so I'm just going to wait and see what happens next year. I will also be adding some bulbs come fall because I can't have a garden without some narcissus in it.

Steal away! I wasn't the first to make a spiral garden, there are plenty of really cool photos if you search the internet for them. Originally I wanted to make an 'herb spiral' (or snail, depending on who you ask) which is a very cool looking permaculture herb garden style. I still plan on making one someday, when I find the right spot.

I've been getting lots of little visitors to the new garden, The 'Fairy Meadow' mix is actually designed to attract all sorts of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and it's definitely working. More bees than anything else at this point, it's nice to see lots of healthy bees working away. I'm hoping that more hummers will come to visit as the garden matures and they find it.

I want to get to the entire back yard, but it's going to take some time. This spot is designated as my cottage/flower garden, most of the rest of the property will be planted more naturally. Those two big oak trees are the best feature of our yard, so we want to plant a native meadow under them because it will keep them happy and healthy. Other than that I want to plant a hedgerow around the property line to block views of neighbors and that ugly old fence in the back, and we need a really long (about 350 feet) dry creek to deal with drainage issues. We'll be working away for years yet to come, but each project gives such a feeling of accomplishment that it's totally worth it.

Woah, long post... anyways, thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 10:23AM
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How smart you are! and what a beautiful garden you have created. the mix of plants is wonderful, and weren't you the clever one to salvage and make wonderful use of the rocks for your borer/.

Beautiful work with a lovely result. Thank you for sharing it.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 5:24PM
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Very beautiful! I love the contrast between the defined spiral and the riot of flowers within it.

I have a big square garden bed and I keep thinking it needs definition or structure somehow. Looking at pretty pictures like this reinforces that idea. I think having the path and edging nicely shaped gives your garden a clear "structural definition" (I don't know how else to describe it). It definitely works.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 5:47PM
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I love it,love seeing so many different colors of flowers and plants spread around like that,just like mother nature did it.Beautiful,job well done.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 6:14PM
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Peachy - that looks great! What a fun idea and a clever solution. Were you able to ID that pink flower in the fifth pic? It's lovely.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 11:57AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

I have not been able to id that flower yet, but I haven't given up hope, I'll come let everyone know when I get some more id's.

I think structural definition is the perfect way to describe it, I like it because even when the flowers are gone or just sprouting the shape of the bed gives something to look at. Designing for 4 seasons of interest is hard, but using rocks and bed shapes for the winter display makes it much easier. I also want to add a statue but I haven't had time to search for the right one. There's the obelisk trellis with a clematis at the end of the path, I want a corresponding statue at the end of the flower spiral. It's hard to show in a picture but from the right angle the path and bed make an open yin yang shape, so the trellis is the dot in the 'yang' part and the statue will be the dot for the 'yin'. I think it'll be pretty cool, my friend who is into Chinese healing and astrology says that it's going to be 'cosmic' tee hee.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 9:50AM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

That purple flower name you're searching for may be 'annual candytuft' (iberis umbellata) which comes in colors other than white. There's some white showing right next to the different shades of purple/lavender in a couple pictures.

Your spiral garden is just beautiful. You captured structure and blooming abandon all in one! Thanks for sharing. NEVER tire of pictures...

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 9:27PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

So cool! What a good idea- plus hardly any maintenance I assume.

I'm really diggin' that Clarkia. Gorgeous looking flowers, plus even the stems are pink!

Ps. I think that 5th pic is of an annual Iberis (I. umbellata??) , or candytuft.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 11:55AM
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Peachy -

You said "I also want to add a statue but I haven't had time to search for the right one."

Have you considered a bird bath or other water source? It seems with all the insects and hummers, plus you will probably get finches and other birds that like seeds later in the season, that a small fountain or a bird bath might add to the attraction of this area for wild-life. I do realize that something like this takes more work to install and maintain than a statue and so may not be realistic for you here. I saw this recirculating water feature (buried reservoir and pump) at a garden show this winter and took a photo as inspiration for my own garden.
From Boston Flower & Garden Show 2013

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 3:51PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Well done! I agree with everything said above. My first thought was that I really like the formal structure of the spiral with the informal planting.
I agree with nhbabs that a water feature would be the icing on your cake! Such a nice job. Thanks for sharing such a great idea and photos.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 9:12PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

Thanks again, especially for the candytuft ID, they are the stars of the spiral right now but they're starting to go to seed.

I have a fountain in the front yard, and although I agree it would look great I wouldn't want to deal with the hassle in that particular spot. Birds love fountains, consequently they need to be cleaned frequently and it always involves splashing a lot of water on the ground and walking around the fountain a bit. Maybe I could get a birdbath and hook it to the irrigation system, but a statue would be easier and require less maintenance. I think I'm a one fountain person, a second is not something I relish taking care of but I wouldn't dream of getting rid of the one I have.

Most recently a bench has been added to the garden, I realized that the place where the path brushes the raised bed is the coolest and most comfortable spot to hang out so I mentioned it to the DH and next thing I knew we had a new bench. I love it, it's perfect for sitting and enjoying my new area.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 9:44AM
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