How to design an holistic garden
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.