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Knot Gardens: A Low Maintenance Treat

By Edited Feb 17, 2016 0 0

Michelle Walz Eriksson CC
Have you ever wondered how difficult it would be to create and maintain a knot garden. Well with a well thought out design, and relatively low maintenance required, it is one of the simplest gardens to create. Knot gardens have been around for centuries, since the Elizabethan times, but they are rare to see these days. However, if you would like to add a little impact to a corner of your garden, why not give one a try. You could design one of your own, or you could purchase designs right off the internet. Don't be afraid that these designs are too complicated. Actually it is simpler to pull off than one might think. Here are some facts to get you started creating your own knot garden today.

Knot gardens came to us from England, and they were inspired by embroidery patterns. They have a formal, and symmetrical appearance. Most of these gardens incorporate a geometrical pattern. They were originally designed using circular patterns that when interwoven resembled the Celtic knot. They were commonly seen in monasteries and on aristocrats estates, but nowadays they are mostly seen in public parks. Lately, they are making a comeback for those gardeners that have a little time on their hands and patience. It takes a couple of years for them to really grow in good for the maximum effect.

Historically these gardens used specific plants in an intricate design that consisted of hedges. The landscapers would incorporate shrubs and aromatic herbs within the container formed from these hedge for visual appeal. An example of this would be by using boxwood. It can be easily sheared to give an interwoven design and requires pruning only once or twice a year. Today, gardeners can incorporate any type of plant or vegetable into their designs and it is still considered a knot garden as long as it maintains a symmetrical, formal shape. When shaping the garden try to plant your hedges close together about 6 inches apart. You will want to create compact tight fit Instead of just herbs and shrubs, the holes formed by the interlocking circles can be filled with decorative gravel, mulch, grass, trees, or flowers. You are only limited by your imagination. Just remember that the more variety you incorporate, the more maintenance you will be required to perform.

When deciding where to plant a knot garden consider the view and space. These gardens have a greater appeal from above and at a distance. If you will be looking down on them from a balcony or a raised deck, then you will love this formal style. This pattern works really well for a sunken garden too. This type of garden also require at least 6 square feet to get the proper affect and allow for normal plant growth. You will also need a level spot for this idea because uneven terrain will distort the effect that you are trying to create.

If you design your own knot garden remember to keep it symmetrical. Interwoven designs add a creative impact and a distinctive flow. There are many patterns that can be found on the internet. Some of these are the Love Knot, the True Lovers Knott, the Four of Hearts Knot, the Lady Salisbury's Knot, the Gardeners Labyrinth, the Oriental Knot, the Tudor Knot, the Kells Knot, and the most popular Celtic Knot. Some of these designs are specific to certain companies, however, there are patterns such as the cartwheel and ribbon design that can be copied off the net.

After you create your first knot garden be sure to properly cut back the hedges. You need to not be afraid to clip conservatively to achieve the proper shape. Even if you make a mistake and clip to much, it will grow back in soon enough. With boxwood, you will normally only have to trim it once every summer. In some cases, you may have to trim more. Don't trim it 4 weeks before the first frost. This will allow it to harden off for the winter. But all in all, it is a pretty simple garden to maintain.

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