The garden spiral is like a snail shell, with stone spiraling upward to create multiple micro-climates and a cornucopia of flavors on a small footprint. Spirals can come in any size to fit any space, from an urban courtyard to an entire yard. You don’t even need a patch of ground, as they can be built on top of patios, pavement, and rooftops. You can spiral over an old stump or on top of poor soil. By building up vertically, you create more growing space, make watering easy, and lessen the need to bend over while harvesting. To boot, spirals add instant architecture and year-round beauty to your landscape: the perfect garden focal point.
One of the beauties of an herb spiral is that you are creating multiple microclimates in a small space. The combination of stones, shape, and vertical structure offers a variety of planting niches for a diversity of plants. The stones also serve as a thermal mass, minimizing temperature swings and extending the growing seasons. Whatever you grow in your spiral, it will pump out a great harvest for the small space it occupies. I’ve grown monstrous cucumbers in my large garden spiral, with one plant producing over 30 prize-size fruits. The spiral is a food-producing superstar!
Stacked stones create perennial habitat for beneficial critters, such as lizards and spiders that help balance pest populations in the garden. The stone network is a year-round safe haven for beneficial insects and other crawlies that work constantly to keep your garden in balance—and you in the hammock. A little design for them up-front pays big, tasty dividends later.
This pentagram visible on Google Maps is located on the shore of the Upper Tobol Reservoir in Kazakhstan. It’s either an evil etching created by ancient astronauts who were also Satan’s minions, or the outline of a park built in the shape of a star during the Soviet era when that symbol was quite popular. You decide.
Sultan the Pit Pony is a spectacular raised-earth sculpture of a horse that extends over
200 meters in Caerphilly, South Wales. Designed by Welsh artist Mick
Petts, the colossal work of art is known as the largest figurative earth
sculpture in the United Kingdom. The sculpture, located in Parc
Penallta, offers unobstructed views of the surrounding woods,
grasslands, marsh, and trails carved from the former coal tip of
Constructed using stone, earth, and 60,000 tonnes of coal shale, the
sculpture is called “Sultan” after a well-loved pit pony that reportedly
worked in the local mines. Pit ponies
were commonly used to haul tubs of coal in underground mines from the
mid-18th until the mid-20th century. Although the last pit pony was
retired in 1999, their legacy and Sultan’s magnificent form serve as
reminders of the Industrial Revolution that marks a significant part of
the UK’s cultural heritage.
On the outskirts of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Ra Paulette’s Luminous Caves lie hidden within a rocky sandstone mesa that appears untouched from the outside. Within it, Paulette’s labyrinthine, sculptural land art evokes Gaudi’s architecture with its high ceilings and organic, spiraling embellishments. Dug singlehandedly by the artist, the caves were envisioned as a place of spiritual reflection and community gathering for Santa Fe area’s rural communities as well as visitors. Paulette created the multi-purpose space over the course of 10 years, describing his process as an organic dance with the land. Within the awe-inspiring architecture of Luminous Caves, Paulette says he hopes to inspire his viewers to connect with the spiritual side of nature. See more on Hi-Fructose.
In preparation for the 2014 Tour de France, which start in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England on 5 July 2014, the Yorkshire Festival 2014 is organizing all sorts of cultural events. One of those is Fields of Vision, an awesome land-art project “set to appear in the fields and pastures of the South Pennine uplands made by farmers, cyclists and artists.” 12 enormous grass-based earthworks are being created along a 65 mile trail alongside the route of the Grand Départ stage of the race.
"The designs will be transferred from paper to pasture through a variety of means including sowing, feeding, cutting, and white line marking. Because each of the installations will be so huge, there will be designated vantage points from which the public can stop in safety to enjoy the installations and reflect on the artists’ work."
Pictured here is the first Fields of Vision piece, created by artist Simon Manfield. Located in Stanbury on sheep grazing fields, it depicts a shepherd beckoning to his faithful sheepdog.