If you are tired of traditional flower beds and hanging baskets and would like to do something different in your backyard this year, you may have already considered a spiral stone flower or herb garden. If you are like most people, you probably assume it will take a lot of work to stack all those stones to get the look you want. This DIY project eliminates the stacking and securing of stones without compromising the beauty, as the spiral of stones is held neatly in place with a wire mesh cage. Here's how you do it.
Making the Spiral Cage
This is the most difficult part of the entire project and requires an extra set of hands, wire cutters, protective gloves and patience.
- Unroll the wire mesh and measure 16 feet. You will need two 16-foot sections, so repeat the procedure.
- Lay one section of the wire mesh out on the lawn and weight down the ends with a cinder block or a block of wood.
- Cut two sections of the wire mesh from the remaining roll of mesh, to measure approximately 4-inches wide and height of the wire mesh.
- Lay the second 16 foot section of wire mesh on top of the first and wire the ends to the 4-inch sections so that you form a cage for rocks.
- Roll the wire mesh cage back into a spiral.
Preparing the Garden
- Clear a 4-foot area for you garden.
- Remove weeds, roots and other debris.
- Cover the area with landscape fabric to prevent weeds from growing in your garden. You can also use cardboard to cover the area.
- Place rocks, bricks or pavers around the circumference of the bed. This will be the border.
- Fill in the area with soil.
Erecting the Spiral
Erecting the spiral takes patience, as it tends to curl, but two people can maneuver it into place. Work slowly to position it, readjusting the cage as you go.
- Place one end of the spiral near the base of the rocks marking the outside of your bed.
- Insert it into the soil. You may wish to use a garden stake or peg to secure it.
- Unroll the wire cage and form the spiral for the garden.
- Cut the wire cage with wire cutters so that it gradually decreases in height as it spirals. Follow the grids of the wire mesh to make your cuts.
- Fill the area between the two wire sides with rocks. This gives the illusion of a wall of rocks.
- Fill in the cavity made by the spiral with potting mixture. This helps to support the wire cage, but if it feels wobbly, add garden stakes or pegs to stabilize it.
Planting Your Garden
Your herb or flower garden is now ready to plant. Place seedlings in the soil at their recommended spacing and firm down the soil with your hands. Water thoroughly to moisten the soil and keep it moist until signs of new growth appear. Reduce watering to the recommended watering for your plants.
- Choose flowers that thrive in the conditions in your area. For example, a sunny location is ideal for herbs and sun-loving flowers like petunias and geraniums, whereas impatiens and begonias thrive in shady areas.
- Monitor the soil carefully, until you determine an appropriate watering schedule. Most plants need watering when the soil dries 1-inch below the surface.
- If you prefer a simpler spiral garden, cut one 16 foot section of wire mesh and skip making a cage for rocks. Line the spiral with moss or plant foliage plants, like coleus or ivies, near the wire mesh once you have erected it in the garden to create an attractive display.