Bauerngarten: Create, design and plant


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Contrary to our today's idea understood until the beginning of the 20th century under a farmer garden in general a garden that was created and managed by farmers. Usually this garden was not directly at the house, but it was a fenced or walled agricultural field. Ornamental plants or a design based on aesthetic principles hardly played a role. Even fruit trees have not yet been planted. They grew outside the garden in a meadow.

The history of the typical for us farm garden probably begins only in the beginning of the 20th century. In the botanical garden of Hamburg in 1913 they put on a kind of ideal farm garden. In a relatively small area, plants have been classified according to various categories such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, ornamentals, as well as aesthetics. The typical characteristics of the farmer gardens of Hamburg type are the predominant planting of herbs and vegetables, the rectangular or square plant with a crossroads and the enclosure, often by a fence, but also by a wall or hedge.
In the middle of the crossroads there is usually a roundel, often with wells, but also with a small tree or a small round flowerbed. The beds are typically bordered by boxwood hedges. Usually also include a few flowers, often perennials and sometimes berry fruits and fruit trees. Such cottage gardens did not exist before 1900, so they are not a traditional garden form. So the medicinal herbs and cross roads come from monastery gardens, Buchshecken already existed in the castle gardens of the ancient Greeks.

Bauerngarten Summer flowers and perennial border

Farm garden roses and books

The typical farmer's garden is colorful - here with mallows, jewelery baskets and fat hen (left) or Tagetes and Phlox (right)

Create a cottage garden

Of course, the location is very important for the planting of a cottage garden. The most favorable is a full sun south side, because many plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers and fennel are originally from southern countries. A very important design element of the cottage garden is the enclosure: There are many possibilities that depend entirely on your wallet, skill and taste. How about a wicker fence? Thin willow rods are braced either horizontally around wooden posts or vertically around crossbars. Easier to build wooden lattice or picket fences. Natural stone walls are also well suited as a boundary. They should not be higher than 80 centimeters.

Paths, beds and borders

Way Cross Farm Garden Drawing

The crossroads are typical of the cottage garden. You can vary it as well as here - the main thing is a geometric system

The paths of a cottage garden are not only practical, they also fulfill an optical function. A strictly geometric and usually symmetrical path system holds together the apparent confusion of vegetables, flowers and herbs. The Way of the Cross, which is typical of the farmer's garden, divides the square-shaped garden into four beds. The four-part of the garden surface has the advantage that you can comply with a regulated crop rotation. Strong-tasters, mid-tweezers, weak-casters and site-consistent cultures can be clearly distinguished. In addition to the Way of the Cross, there are many more ways to create garden paths. You can create the main paths in relation to the fencing diamond-shaped or make the outer frame round or oval. The most important thing is that you stick to the geometric system.

In the farmer's garden the ways are usually not sealed. The easiest way is open ground or a lawn path. A path of fine gravel looks a bit neater and still looks natural. Also bark mulch is often used. Its undecomposed tannins also reduce weed formation. Coverings made of clinker or natural stone are also suitable for large, representative cottage gardens.

Farm garden vegetable patch

Paths with natural or paving stones are more suitable for larger cottage gardens

A bedding border brings not only peace and order in the garden garden bed - it also prevents the crops spread out onto the paths and weeds between the vegetables. Book enclosures are especially popular. But beware: especially the popular Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa' and the 'Blauer Heinz' variety are susceptible to the boxwood dying that has been occurring for several years. The fungus called Cylindrocladium buxicola invades the plant via the leaves and kills them completely over time. An alternative to the boxwood is the robust evergreen honeysuckle (Lonicera nitida 'Maigrün').
Bedding editions of upholstery plants such as carpet phlox, blue cushions or cabbage are especially pretty. If you have enough space, you can also use lavender as a marginal plant.If you want to save the care of a living bed enclosure, of course, just use wood. Suitable are edged boards, beams or round timbers.

Plant selection for the farmers garden

Since one has not fixed oneself in the garden literature, which actually makes a farmer garden, there are also infinite many variations with the plant selection. The shape and size of the garden is certainly important. Fruit trees were not planted in the early days of the cottage gardens, they were outside on a meadow. Of course they are part of it today. You place them either on the edge of the garden or just a tree in the center. For this, most of the high-stem fruit trees such as apple, pear, cherry, plum or mirabelle are suitable. Even berry bushes have no long tradition in the cottage garden. But since they are easy to care for, provide a rich harvest and at the same time serve as hedges, they are perfect.

summer flowers

Annual summer flowers such as snapdragon and jewelery baskets are typical of cottage gardens. But they have to be sown every year

Mixed colors - vegetables, herbs and ornamental plants

The direct juxtaposition of useful and ornamental plants is characteristic for the farmer garden. Ornamental plants not only look beautiful, they also have a practical use. Some of them are especially helpful against nematodes in the soil - especially tagetes and marigolds. In addition, many flowering ornamental plants attract bees and other beneficial insects. They pollinate the crops and, through their partly predatory way of life, also keep pest insects in check. With the addition of herbs to ensure better health in the garden bed. Dill, for example, promotes the germination of carrots and its fragrances keep pests of beetroot, carrots and cabbage.

Rose arch from climbing rose

The queen of the flowers is not missing in the garden - climbing roses surround the garden gate

In the cottage garden, the crops are also mixed. The principle of mixed culture prevents the mass propagation of pests and diseases. For example, certain crops can repel or lure pests away. However, keep species of the same plant family at a distance, as they are often attacked by the same pests and diseases. Essential for the mixed culture is to make sure that the mixed cultures fit together. On the other hand, celery and cauliflower promote each other, but onions impede the growth of beans, peas and cabbage.
If you prefer to relax in your cottage garden, you should limit yourself to ornamental plants - after all, growing vegetables is not only more labor-intensive, the harvest must also be processed. Whether you choose perennials, bulbs and tubers or summer flowers, it is important that the plants are suitable for the location. Popular farmer garden flowers are Vetch, Bleeding Heart, Globe Thistle, Hollyhock, Marguerite, Marigold and Marigold. Finally, the rose should be called. In combination with perennials, bed roses are good for cottage gardens. Climbing roses can surround the entrance to the house or the garden gate and high-stem roses make themselves well in the rondel of the wayside cross.

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