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The Mandala project
A wild sketch between heaven and earth
Designing the beds
The concept of our mandala vegetable garden offers a unique and aesthetic approach to the creation of our vegetable garden. Bringing living things back into the midst of dormant nature requires a bit of work on the subject. We’re dedicating a 23 metre square, or around 500 square metres, to this ‘kingdom of the good’, giving us plenty of space to explore different ideas and patterns.
Our Mandala will combine art and functionality by integrating geometric shapes and natural elements. To begin with, the design will divide your space into concentric circles, with a central point that will house a giant bouquet of flowers (red and orange sunflowers) and perhaps later a fruit tree, depending on the shade experience in summer. This vertical element will mark the rotation point and we’ll put a water inlet there.
The concentric circles and various shapes surrounding this central area will be divided into 6 different sections, an arc of circles. In each section, we’ll grow different types of vegetables, fruit or aromatic herbs grouped by major theme but combined with others according to their nutritional needs or protection against parasites. This division will give us a clearer organisation and also make it easier to maintain and rotate the crops.
To attract pollinators, we think it would be a good idea to add flowering areas in the corners that remain after the circle has been drawn. Lavender in the second year, phacelia to start with. Not only will these flowers add beauty to your vegetable garden, they will also help to pollinate neighbouring plants, improving the fertilisation of the vegetables in the mandala.
We’re adding winding paths that link the different sections, less convenient for maintenance (usually linear) but so much more fun and attractive.
We’ll use these meanders to orientate the plants on the growing mounds according to their respective needs for sunlight and watering.
Once the concept is in place, we start by planting stakes in the area that was our old 70m2 kitchen garden to assess the exact location before turning over the soil for the first and last time:
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