How to design an holistic garden


Bob Ewing photo
Bob Ewing photo

The gardeners kitchen

We can change our lives by spending time in a garden; even just sitting there, contemplating what is going on can generate positive energy. If you sit in a natural or organic garden long enough and that may only mean a few minutes if you can sit still, you will witness Life’s Dance being performed right before your eyes.

You did not have to buy a ticket; stand in line or look for a parking space. There was no need to dress formally or go out to dinner before the show; in fact you can have dinner during the performance and even share some of yoru food with the performers.

The birds, bees and butterflies interacting with all the plants that are growing in the garden and the visible cast while below ground there are millions of other playing very important supporting roles.

The number of beings from spiders to earwigs and ants that get together to put on a show is amazing and all you need to do is refrain from introducing any poison into the scene and make a few wise plant choices.

What makes a garden a holistic garden rather than an organic or natural one, although it is both, is that not only does it appeal to the senses, sight, sound, taste, smell and touch but it provides food, drink and beauty all in one space.

As any successful garden must, the holistic garden needs to be designed bearing the two basic gardening rules in mind: right plant, right palce and build soil.

The gardener grows soil and if this is done properly whatever plants the gardener chooses to include be they herb, vegetable, flower, shrub, fern or tree, will thrive as long as the chosen plants get the food, water and sunlight they need.

An holistic garden can be placed on a balcony, deck or in the backyard can be grown in containers, raised beds or planted into the earth. What matters is that the gardener incorporate organic gardening methods with the basic elements of design, form, texture, and colour for example as well as making plant choices that meet several needs; food, drink and beauty or décor, for example.

In addition, the plants will attract by providing food and shelter the numerous other beings that help the garden grow.

Herbs, such as dill, thyme, chamomile and mint among many others serve multiple functions. Mint and chamomile can make tea; mint also makes a good flavouring for thyme. Be sure if you decide to grow mint that you do so in containers as it will spread and fast. I find that chamomile works best in containers unless you are looking to sue it as a ground cover; however, I feel it grows a bit too tall for that use.

Dill attracts beneficial insects that will help guard your garden from the pests that want to feast on it and can be used in pickling, for example. I also find it an attractive plant, the flowers and leaves bring an otherworldly look to the garden.

Fragrant plants, such as flowering tobacco, entice your sense of smell and add to your pleasure while you are visiting your garden.

My choice of plants for a small holistic garden is, tulips,daffodils, basil, tomatoes, dill, cucumbers, salad greens, mint, marigolds,lilies, flowering tobacco, sunflowers, cosmos and beans. There are many possibilities and while your garden may differ from mine all will follow the basic rules, plant for the senses and make sure your plants get what they need.

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Comments 12 comments

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa

Thanks for wonderful tips and thoughts. I have a very small garden that is mostly in the shade but I have already incorporated some of your tips from previous Hubs and of course what I have learned myself over the years.

I agree that organic gardening is very important and I use no artificial fertilisers or pesticides - in fact, I won't have them near my little patch!

I love the work of nature going on around me - the birds that come to my garden, the beetles and the earthworms all create a great ambience of peace. I love your expression "Life’s Dance being performed right before your eyes." So beautiful and true

Love and peace


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thanks for dropping by and happy gardening

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Ellie Perry 7 years ago

Nice article for additions for the small garden at the North side of the house. Thanks, Bob!

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

You are welcome, thanks for dropping by.

Nolimits Nana 7 years ago

Thanks again, Bob. Don't you love how the honey bees never seem to mind if you brush against them when they're gathering nectar and pollen - I love that drowzy buzz.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Honey bees buzzing tell me all is right. Thanks for dropping by.

DonnaCSmith profile image

DonnaCSmith 7 years ago from Central North Carolina

I love sitting in or near my garden. My favorite time is evening, after things cool off a little. I can see the farm pond down the hill from where I sit. Barnie (my JRT) and I sit together, sometimes a deer comes to the pond. The birds are twittering and finding their roosting spots. It is a blessing.

My '"garden" consists of perennials, herbs and a few veggies. I added a raised bed last fall. I grew collards in it. now I have peas, radishes, and dill. Just planted some squash seeds last week. Behind the kidney shaped flower and herb bed. Have a tomato and some basil in a big pot.

I enjoy your gardening hubs, Bob!

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Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Been too cool here to do much, but think about it. Thanks for dropping by.

Guardian1 profile image

Guardian1 7 years ago

People who spend quality time with their plants and/or animals tend to be calmer. Between my cat, my garden and my bonsai trees, I should be cool as a cucumber ;-). Really great hub about holistic gardens. They are well worth the time and effort.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

coolas a cucumber, good one. thanks for dropping by.

Umardin 7 years ago

Thank's a lot, I'll can learn about garden application now

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thank you for dropping by

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