Califonia Bountiful

Sprouting wisdom

Nov./Dec. 2016 California Bountiful magazine

Gardening advice to grow from

Advice: "You double the size of your garden by cutting it in half."—Beverley Nichols

My take: English gardener, author and composer Beverley Nichols (1898-1983) is my favorite garden author. Once I'd read his book, "Merry Hall," which is the story of turning an old Georgian manor into a garden and a home, I was hooked.

This quote is from his experience creating a garden in the city. He had an oddly shaped lot (it came to a point at the back) and was perplexed as to how to make it into a garden. He knew he needed paths, so he built a small conservatory at the back of the garden and put a curved pathway that led to it. He discovered that by cutting his garden in half, he now had two gardens, one on either side of the pathway in which to create a garden. He had twice as many places to put small, low-growing plants. And cutting the garden in two also made it easier to maintain because both the backs of both sides were more accessible: Instead of one huge garden, he had two smaller ones.

It doesn't seem to make sense at first, but you really do double the size of your garden by cutting it in half.

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