Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Beginning the Knot Garden

The first month of the Knot Garden at Havenwood
Now that we have finally reached spring, work has definitely picked up on the garden as we race to get as many plants in the ground as possible before summer brings its hotter, drier weather. The Knot Garden began as an empty slate in April....


April 19th: Stakes set out the place in the lawn that we were thinking about for the Knot Garden. We started with the window measurements to determine the proportion of the beds...
My little notebook was used during many a wintery day to brainstorm new patterns for our Knot Garden. I am still not totally decided, though I am tending toward a more "knot" like design than these more modern swirls.
April 19th: Easter egg hunt day and the garden is just stakes. The very uneven change in elevation was one of the initial problems.
April 23rd: A pile of sod is starting to move in here from the making of the Potager garden.
May 10th: The path around the knot is starting to be dug out and the dirt used to make a raised berm for the new yew hedge by the street. Lots of up and down the hill with the wheelbarrow! Great exercise.
May 10th: And we are able to plant a few of the Juniper 'Skyrocket' bushes for the southeast border. These should grow tall by narrow, and so will not block as much light as other hedging.

May 19th: Paths are leveled and all gardens graded... or nearly. We borrowed a contractor friend's transit and marked with areas that we needed to level on a diagram and with the flag markers.
This will be three stone steps up onto the Knot Garden's pea gravel path.
We dug out the path under the fruit tunnel (see the plan) and used this sod to help build the mound into the Knot Garden. The sidewalk on the side will be partly taken out and replaced with gravel to let it go along side the fruit tunnel.
The tunnel will allow for a wider entrance to the side where it intersects with the steps up to the top of the old garage. We are hoping one to put a glasshouse on top of this garage, as well as refinish its exterior.
This is the opposite view from the garage steps. I have dreams of a nice shrubby area through the fruit tunnel to obscure the utility pole and make a cozy sitting spot. Also it is a bit damp, so some nice spring meadow bulbs would be welcome :)
Empty garden waiting for something pretty... but much more level.
View from the knot bed to the rear garden that is filled with a swing set and failing shed at present. But...
These is also a new willow tree, Salix alba 'Tristis' (also known as 'Niobe') that will make a lovely specimen in this area. And will one day stand near a pond... (again, see the plan).
May 19th: I moved our Clematis 'William Kennett' from Gilmore Gardens to the three trellises on the right. A bit later in the season than I hoped to move it, so I will be on the lookout to see if I need to cut back more of the blooms to help it cope.
It will be a while before we are ready to start the box cuttings in this garden, but we have come a long way in a month! I am looking forward to seeing it out the library window next winter.

15 comments:

  1. You've made a lot of progress - what a lot of work! It's fun to see your plans progressing. It will be beautiful when done - what a lovely view from your window.

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    1. Thank you! Knot gardens are known for looking nice with a bit of snow on them.... very sculptural. This is why we decided to place it right outside this line of windows in a room that we use all the time. So, truly, here is one thing that I can already look forward to for the winter months, though I also feel that I have had enough winter at the moment to last a lifetime. :)
      ~Julie

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  2. Bravo ! wat a work !! I'am very happy to follow your new garden !

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    1. Thank you Francoise! So nice to share it with you!
      ~Julie

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  3. You have worked hard and got so much done in a short time! I like your idea of your knot garden to look at from your window in the winter. Our octagon in the front has all the box balls on each corner so that we look at them while washing the dishes in the winter and yes, they do look good with snow on them!

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  4. I was exhausted just reading Julie. What a great start, I'll bet your gluts have had a smashing work out! Nice to see your progress and look forward to seeing more.

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  5. Julie, I am so excited watching you plan and execute this garden! I referred back to your diagram many times to get my bearings and really understand it - thank you for including the quick link in this post [and it may be good to include in each update for us nerdy types who want to get into the details. ;)] Love, love love! And yes, when comparing that very first photo to the next one, I couldn't figure out what had gotten so lush and full in such a short time until you pointed out the new juniper plantings. You got me on that one! I just got my annuals planted, only to have two nights of mid-30s temps again, smh. One thing's certain - each year in the garden there are new surprises, even with the same plants from year-to-year. But this year is already proving to be unique from all the rest. Looking forward to future posts.
    Rita C at Panoply

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  6. Oh to be young again and to have so much energy! I do so enjoy following the progress of your garden. Thank you for sharing it wih us! You are very talented. I wouldn't even have known where to begin, but as you show in your photos you have a vision, and when all is said and done it will be beautiful! Happy gardening and enjoy every minute of the time spent with your beautiful family!

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  7. Great work Julie. I think when you say 'knot' you mean parterre. A knot has hedges usually of different colours than intersect so it looks like a knot! What you were drawing first was 'brodery'; like embroidery with swirls and various shapes that don't interlock. Anyway whatever you call it, it will look great, will you plant inside it, tulips or other spring bulbs maybe?

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    1. Very true, Christina. We are thinking about some traditional knot designs at present... though I am thinking about including a few smaller plants for color in the knot, though they are not usually included there. :)
      ~Julie

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  8. That's a LOT of work. I'm sure it will beautiful, and I can't wait to see the progress :)

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  9. Hi Julie,

    All I have to say is the new garden is TOTALLY COOL! I can't wait to keep seeing the progress. And the plan of having a glass house on top of the old garage....I'm totally jealous. Fantastic work.
    Susan

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    1. Thanks Susan! Maybe you can stop and see it in a few years when you are out visiting Pittsburgh? :)
      ~Julie

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  10. How wonderful to see your garden finally taking shape.

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