How to Plan and Create a Knot Garden

05Oct 2015

create a knot garden

Knot gardens are truly a thing of beauty. Normally, you don’t see many of them around, simply because garden care for these types of areas is more difficult. Historically, knot gardens were introduced during the reign of the Tudors in England and were quite fashionable up until the early 17th century.

Even though knot gardens do require some skills and more experience than other gardening projects, it is still worth it to create one of your own. If you succeed, you can truly take pride in your creation. In order to take on the task of creating your own knot garden, you need to follow a certain plan and tips. Here is a guide to lead you in the process:

- Understand the design - before you begin with your knot garden, you must ensure that you know what this type of garden features. In essence, knot gardens form an intricate design of evergreens that remain compact through specialised clipping. Any areas within the borders of the evergreen line may be gravelled or planted to feature a colourful pattern. The resulting design is a great-looking garden that is best viewed from above. If you don’t have at least a two-storey opportunity to enjoy the knot garden, it is probably not worth it to go though the trouble of creating one.

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- Draw a design - once you are aware of what a knot garden actually is, it is time to decide on what it will look like. Start with size and shape. What you have to keep in mind is that a narrow knot garden is not that impressive and that usually the best shape to work with is square or rectangular. Draw the design on a sheet of paper and keep an eraser nearby. Remember that you shouldn’t aim for too ambitious projects, especially if you are not an expert gardener.

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- Soil preparation - a knot garden is best planted in light and sandy soil. Avoid wet and heavy ground, as it is prone to fungal diseases that may pray on your woody plants. Dig over a site that has no weeds and clear it from roots and any debris. Mark the boundaries of the garden and the design lines. Try to look at the design from above in order to be sure it looks good and pleasing. Adding compost can greatly improve growing conditions for plants.

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- Pick your plants - you have to be mindful of what plants are recommended for your garden zone, but at the same time you need to keep in mind that your knot gardening should feature at least two different shrubs and plants of various height, texture and colour. Some of the most popular options for knot gardens feature boxwood, Suffruticosa, dwarf Escallonia and some types of herbs.

garden care

- Add ornaments - even though knot gardens traditionally feature plants in the centre, nothing is stopping you from implementing some other elements such as a small fountain, a birdbath or some garden gnomes. Anything that pleases you works great, especially if you have a theme going that such ornaments will complement.

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- Garden care - it is very important to maintain your garden well during the first year of its growth. Watering is especially important, as you want the plants to grow solid and bring the design you have in mind to reality. Be regular at clipping the shrubs, because that is what keeps your knot garden looking great.

hedge trimming

- Have patience - knot gardens require a lot of time to take their final shape, which is why you have to invest patience and perseverance in such project. Keep a close watch on your garden to ensure it is growing properly and you will be able to enjoy its finished look eventually.

Creating your very own knot garden may not be easy, but the end result will certainly make all the effort and time spent well worth it.

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