Garden Spaces: Create a Colonial Garden


| December/January 2011


• Design Plans: Grow These Colonial Garden Plants 

Many garden ideas can grow from a study of horticultural history and tradition, and sometimes old ideas can offer solutions to new problems. The herb gardens of Colonial America are a case in point. These tidy, geometric gardens make a wonderful drought-tolerant alternative to a water-sucking front lawn, if they’re appropriate to the style of the home and the neighborhood. And even if Colonial isn’t your style, you can still find inspiration here.

We filled this front-yard garden with a bevy of old-fashioned, traditional plants (all herbs that would have been grown in the Colonies), including some natives and others that might have been brought over from the Old World and passed around among neighbors. Globe thistle, cardoon, valerian, foxglove, feverfew, yarrow, pansies and larkspur—these are all plants that are as beloved today as they were a couple of hundred years ago.

We chose a simple, geometric design that is reminiscent of a patchwork quilt pattern the colonists would have been familiar with. We laid a center walkway to the front door with mirrored square beds on either side of it, each of which has a diamond within it for a selection of statuesque plants, with small triangular beds at the corners. Making the walkways a light or contrasting color adds emphasis to the orderly geometry, which is a satisfying framework for the overflowing bounty of a thriving garden.



Prepare for Planting

A simple internet search and online photos of Colonial Williamsburg will give you lots of other ideas for designs and plant choices for your own Colonial garden. Once you’ve settled on a design that fits your space, in a location that gets full sun or at least six to eight hours of sunlight a day, then you can prepare that site as you would any bed:

Turn over the soil, adding in compost and whatever other amendments you need to create a nutrient-rich, porous soil that drains adequately. Remove all those pesky rocks and weed it thoroughly. If you’ve got time, let it lie fallow for a few weeks and repeat the process, getting rid of all the new weeds you created by unearthing weed seeds.







mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!

LEARN MORE









Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265