A few months ago I got sucked into Pinterest, despite my long time resistance. I get annoyed by any platform that requires you to sign up for an account to view the content. But with Pinterest boards being the top results for searches, I finally broke down and signed up. I understand why it is such a popular site. Crowd powered research mixed with social media makes for a powerful and extensive source of information.
Which is where I learned about spiral gardens. It started with this picture. I was immediately taken with the idea of an herb garden that is vertical and circular. Our backyard is all angles, which I have been trying to soften with curved beds and features. I also wanted to relocate my turtle shrine from behind the arbor vitae in the back to somewhere more prominent. With that in mind, we set out to work.
Keeping with the motto of “Use what you have.” we started with collecting rocks, stones and pavers from around the yard. After thirteen years in this house, I had amassed quite a collection of yard masonry. To that haul I added a clay pot that had cracked over the winter. Half of the pot went to the spiral garden and the other, smaller half, was used to make a toad house.
Putting the spiral took about two days of laying stone and adding in soil. The dirt came from two other raised beds we had dismantled. Ben provided worms he scrounged from the overturned dirt. I added bark and leaf debris to the space between the rocks and the wood fence, as well as inside the back of the pot, to provide a habitat for bugs and other garden fauna.
To keep our dog, Enya, from climbing into the spiral from the sides, I moved two other large pots to flank it. They’ll be useful for mint or other plants that need to be contained. The turtle went on top of the pot and we called the whole thing done. I would like to propagate moss on the stones and the turtle, but that’s proven a bit difficult. Enya, the dog who treated the compost heap like a salad bar, found the moss slurry (moss and buttermilk blended together) and licked most of it off the rocks I had spread it on. I may have to put some fencing up to keep her out until it has gotten established.
Now all that is left is to plan what will go on the spiral while I wait for planting time.