Irish Walls

In coming up with the design for the flower beds at Mamaroneck, I suggested that the beds be raised with low stone walls that looked like the stone walls prevalent in the Irish countryside. Jim, who comes from an Irish background of course loved the idea but more importantly, given his occupation in high end construction, realized the idea beautifully with the help of an Irish stone mason.

There are some great functional features- you can sit comfortably on that wall to weed, tend and plant those beds. They also raise the plants and give them a lot more height and presence. This is much needed as it competes with a huge stretch of lawn - anything with less visual weight would probably look a little lost. As the summer progresses and plants tumble over the walls the visual is one of abundance, overflowing with foliage and flower.

After the fact, I've discovered that raised four square beds are typical of Pennslyvania Deutsch German gardens- so without really knowing it, the design also references Heidi's heritage. Her influence is also significant in what goes into the beds. It's largely the product of our trips to the the garden center together. Her background is also textile design so we are often to be found squinting at three pots pushed together to see if the colors 'weave'.

Last year, there were some very successful planting combinations that I'm looking forward to expanding but one thing I'm going to make a little more effort this year is to pay a little more attention to using the walls a little more. There are some great ideas in Getrude Jekyll's Wall and Water Gardens like this of growing things in dry walls that I'd like to do a little more of.

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