Indoor inspiration outdoors
I'd had this idea for quite a while a few years ago. It's one of those random thoughts that festers for a while before it actually happens. The goal was to get rid of the grass underneath the "horsey swing," part of my daughter's play set.
I knew it couldn't be anything too ornate–kids would be playing on it. Since it was for the playground, at first I thought I'd do a checker board–and create some actual checkers made from painted slices of tree trunks. But size was a problem. In order to get the correct number of squares, at common sizes of available stone tile, the proportions of the space were all off. It would have required buying larger tiles than needed and two cuts per tile for 32 tiles. I didn't want to work that hard. This is the sort of stuff that keeps me awake at night throughout a winter season when I can't actually get out there and garden.
Gardens surround the Chateau.
We took a trip to the Loire Valley of France and while touring the Chateau de Chenonceau, it struck me how cool the diagonal floor tile pattern was in the ballroom–the part of the chateau that is built over the River Cher.
website, there's great 360-degree views of each garden. They also feature floral art displays regularly. When we were there throughout the chateau were unbelievable floral displays featuring moss-covered stones & urns.
Early on. We looked at dirt for almost two years. Some of these low grasses are slow growers.
But back to my garden. I came back determined to abandon the hopes of a checkerboard under the play set and instead figured out how many 1-foot tiles I would need if they were placed on a 45-degree angle. It worked - with minimal cutting. And a diamond pattern makes sense, I justify–it seems to be a recurring theme in my garden. There are diamond/harlequin patterns in all my lattice and even the espalier is diamond-shaped.
In the spots where there were no tiles, I planted a variety of Steppables and Jeepers Creepers brand low grasses and mosses:
- Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum "Pink Chintz")
- Woolly Thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus)
- Pink Pussy-Toes (Antennaria dioca "Rubra")
- Irish Moss (Sagina subulata)
- Baby Tears (Sedum album "Chloroticum")
- Silver Kisses (Anacyclus depressus compactum)
- Goldmoss Stonecrop (Sedum acre)
- Dwarf Yellow Wallflower (Erysimum kotschyanum)
In retrospect, I should have researched these more. Some of them get annoyingly tall, specifically the Goldmoss Stonecrop (the yellow stuff in the photo at the top). If I had it all to do over, I'd plant all Irish Moss.
What garden projects are festering in your head at this time of the year?