Circle Gardens Big and Small

chrysoliteStarred Page By chrysolite, 7th Aug 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Landscaping

Early this January I decided to create a circle garden on the dry land in the mountains of Spain where we live. I had tried a lot of garden designs, but all used more water than we actually have. We are now using only a minimum amount of water and plant just enough to eat fresh fruit and vegetables as well as culinary and medicinal herbs every day. A little goes a long way!

How it all began

I've been growing a lot of my own vegetables and some fruit all my life with more or less success and in the case of living in Spain with very little water available - almost zero success. But, I thought, there is always another way and started researching.

In the absolute brilliant book "Secrets of the Soil" by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird there is a chapter that describes the circle garden of a lady called Machaelle Small Wright and there is also a mention of the Genesa Crystal that is placed in the center of her circle garden. So I went to do some research from there and the relevant links are listed at the end of this article.

Easy does it - one step and another step

First I started to make a small circle as described here:
http://www.soilforlife.co.za/docs/biophile/Biophile%2010.pdf

I dug most enthusiastically (as one does when starting a new project!) and after 20 centimeters I hit bed rock. That is our land. You never know what is under the top soil, rock or gravel or soil. Very disappointed I stopped, but then thought immediately that if I can't dig DOWN I have to build UP. Rocks are plenty here, so I measured out the circle, piled up rocks around it and filled it with soil, manure and plant matter. To this day this is my loveliest circle garden, small, but the melons think it's heaven!

Next I found a few old tires and build 4 circles UP again, filled them and started planting immediately. Now that is easy! No digging, no bending, no sweat. Just put an old bottle or tube in the middle for watering, it couldn't be easier!

The big circle garden

Seeing that that the small circles worked so well, I decided to start a bigger one, like Machaelle had created. I didn't have as much space as she did, so I measured out 3 concentric circles and the pathways. The paths are 1 ft wide, the beds are 3 ft wide. That is 1 ft of my own feet. I can't be asked to get a tape measure as per usual.

You might ask yourself how a 58 year old ... Well, I'm healthy, yes, but I haven't got the stamina to carry round rocks and soil for days on end. It would do my back in! But that is the advantage of such a big circle garden. One starts in the middle with a small circle, add some soil, plant matter and manure and plant a rose bush - first success! I had also learned to make a Genesa Crystal, so I put that in the middle as well. And then, little by little, step by step I went on to create the next circle. As I went cleaning up the ground and bringing in soil from the woods and stones from the terraces, I was never in a hurry, nobody stood behind me with the stop watch. All in good time, I thought, and did usually no more than an hour each day. An hour a day regularly gives the soil and the whole circle garden a chance to grow and mesh together naturally. I had started the circle garden in February and from end of March I could already plant some salads, cabbages and onions.

I really love it how the circle garden always looks tidy at every stage until it is finally finished. It seems a lot of work at first, but there is no digging involved. Once the plant bed is ready with a bottle or tube for watering in the middle, it's just adding more mulch and more plants and more seeds (as appropriate) - it is easy now.

I also do companion planting and I mostly do gardening by the moon calendar and here's a short list of my favorite companion plants. They are all so beneficial to the vegetable plants, so it's really worth planting them as well:

  • Tagetes
  • Calendula
  • Boretch
  • Yarrow
  • Comfrey
  • Dandelion
  • Alfalfa

One of my neighbours does the same and he keeps laughing and says: "It's always the other people that have pests, I don't have any in my garden!" And I laugh as well and reply: "Strange that, me neither!" Is it the companion plants or the toads that eat the slugs, is it that we do not use any pesticides or insecticides, in fact, we don't buy any products at all! Or is it maybe that we only use natural manure from our rabbits? Or maybe it's a combination of it all and the deep respect for Mother Earth who knows best anyway?

Building my second circle garden already

The small circle gardens and the big circle garden are running smoothly now and keep producing all year round. Yes, living in Spain does make this possible, although we do have a few days of light frost in February, but I'm making more Genesa Crystals of varying sizes now covering them with cling film or bubble wrap. That should keep the plants frost free.

Well, it seems I've got hooked on this circle gardening and it didn't take long for me to figure out that there is a piece of land next to ours, nice and plane and big where I could do bigger crops like potatoes, sweet corn, lentils, chick peas, hemp, peas, spelt and wheat. And this time, I've made a design very similar to Machaelle's, the paths winding towards the center in form of a spiral.

Fortunately, there is only a lot of long grass to clear and so a couple of weeks ago I simply started. I didn't actually look at the work, it would have put me off! But a nice small circle with less than 10 stones around it and a baby agave planted in the middle? Anybody can do that! And with that center circle always in view, I keep working every day in the cool of the morning for an hour to cut the grass, bring in a few stones - easy.

Healing Circle Gardens Connect

Almost by accident (or was it?) I stumbled across a few websites where people had created Healing Gardens. I loved the concept. They had also planted vegetables, flowers, culinary and medicinal herbs in attractive garden designs, some of them circles, some as mandalas, some just meandering and all of them had this peaceful, harmonious "feel" which I can also feel in my circle gardens. This way, all the healing gardens connect around the world - a very nice thought.

I can really say that when I open my eyes in the morning, I choose happiness every day. I choose love and good will for all and I choose peace and connected-ness as I tend to my circle gardens.

Relevant Links

How to start a Circle Garden

Genesa Crystals (Heliospheres) - What are they and what do they do?

How to make a Genesa Crystal yourself from paper

Beautiful Genesa Crystals handmade

My blog diary "Gardening with Vibrations"

13 Tips to Create Your Own Healing Garden

Thanks for calling in!

Tags

Circle, Cost, Culinary, Fruit, Garden, Health, Herbs, Low, Maintenance, Medicinal, Organic, Save, Soil, Vegetable, Water

Meet the author

author avatar chrysolite
From writing to blogging it's only a small step:

http://whatdoesaremotewriterdo.blogspot.com

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Comments

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
7th Aug 2013 (#)

this is fabulous chrysolite...thank you...

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author avatar chrysolite
8th Aug 2013 (#)

Thank you, Carolina! I wish I could share the veggies and herbs with all of you, they are so nice!

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
7th Aug 2013 (#)

Wow what a great garden, lots of work but well worth it.

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author avatar chrysolite
8th Aug 2013 (#)

Thank you, Mark! Not sure about it being a lot of work. I may look like it, but I rarely do more than an hour a day in the garden and that includes watering these days as it's so hot. The new circle garden also takes up an hour each day until it's finished, but I know it'll will make me self-sufficient with the bigger crops, too.

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author avatar Mariah
9th Aug 2013 (#)

Lovely garden chrysolite
thank you for sharing
Mariah

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author avatar chrysolite
11th Aug 2013 (#)

Thank you, Mariah! Yes, I want to share this venture with people as it brings me so much joy!

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author avatar Trillionaire
10th Aug 2013 (#)

So awesome!!!!!! Thanks, so awesome.

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author avatar chrysolite
11th Aug 2013 (#)

Thank you, Trillionaire! I also feel a million dollars with my new circle gardens! ;)

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author avatar Johnny Knox
11th Aug 2013 (#)

Wonderful post and guide, chrysolite!

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author avatar chrysolite
11th Aug 2013 (#)

Thank you, Johnny! If only one person will also try circle gardening, then it was worth writing the article!

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
23rd Jan 2014 (#)

Circle gardens -what an awesome idea! I can't wait to start one here at my home. Thanks for a great post chrysolite.

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author avatar chrysolite
23rd Jan 2014 (#)

As I said earlier, Steve, if only one person would start a circle garden because of this article, I would be very, very happy!

And indeed, if you send me a photo or text, then I will make a separate blog post about your circle garden! It's a promise!

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