[gardeners] Opinions please

Terry King (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Sun, 26 Aug 2001 07:54:38 -0700

When building a new bed do you prefer symmetrical geometric shapes or
freestyle or do you do a mix of both?

I ask because earlier this year I tried a new technique to build a bed.  Its
called Lasagna gardening (yes a Rodale Press book which I am regretting to a
certain extent every time I go to the mail box).  Basically it is building a
bed by sheet composting and planting immediately.  So far it seems to be
working fairly well with a few caveats.  One being that the book advised
laying thick layers of newspaper or cardboard on top of unbroken sod.  This
does work well unless you have quackgrass, thistles, dandelions or any other
impossible to deter perennial weeds growing where you want the new bed.

Anyway, I built a bed around the base of a Larch tree that grows in my lawn.
The dogs were always digging dust hovels there and the grass didn't grow
well because the trees sucks up so much moisture.  I slapped the bed
together in spare moments when I wasn't going to school.  I'm afraid I
wasn't as careful to shape as I should have been and the circle around the
tree isn't a completely round circle.  Its approximately 50' in
circumference and more of a rounded heart shape, without the extreme dip the
top of a heart shape has, than circular.  I am currently putting in a mow
strip of 8x16 red patio blocks and white sand to match the mow strips on my
other beds.  My other beds are more regular geometric shapes, mostly
straight sides and rounded corners.

Since the bed is raised, I will finish it off by laying our native rock (a
mix if river rock and field stones) up the sloped edges of the bed inside
the mow strip.

I can't decide if should leave the new bed the irregular shape or to do the
work to round it out?  I don't think it looks too bad the way it is but I'm
wondering what other people's perceptions are about an irregular bed in a
garden when the other beds are more regular geometrically?  My yard is not
formal by any means, it's more rustic with enough geometry to look organized
and tidy, or at least I hope so. :-D

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

E. WA.