Thought I'd put this in quickly for some who asked to see it.
For the mandala edges, we are deciding between retaining wall bricks (like this) or rendered strawbale walls - we are still looking at both to see the costs and time involved building them as we will be doing it ourselves. I would welcome any advice or suggestions. We are keen to have something solid and about a metre high that can be curved very easily, so that ruled out anything wooden.
Here's the East-facing part:
Sorry if you cant really see due the colour. However, you can see there's two keyhole mandalas on sides with a pond in middle. The foreground will be only grass (we have kids and a dog that needs space to romp around I guess) - I am getting rid of those useless ornamental plants (though the local frogs will miss them). The trellis on left will be used for those climbing fruit plants such as passionfruit, etc. I am still trying to see if adding posts and some sort of shade to those north-facing windows would help during summer, thus can use those posts as supports for those climbing vegies (peas, beans, cucumbers, etc). To set the mandala garden as a focal point, I am contemplating about putting up an arch up as entry point into the garden. I d rather making it more pleasant to look at while making it practical.
The idea of having keyhole/mandala styled gardens is to ensure that I can still put on a chook dome when a bed requires it, with just two or three chooks. So the diametre of a bed will be 3 metres radius. This will leave about a metre wide for path at the entry point. I think I've worked out that there'd be about 7 to 9 beds - I haven't really draw out on grass yet for exact measurements. It is a long rectange shaped area, so a perfect circle is not possible. A keyhole or two in each bed will be added so can walk into the 'middle' of bed.
You can see the yellow lines indicating the pavered path from the covered & tiled patio to the Chook Palace for those eggs. So it will be a nice 'stroll' through the garden to see what is needed to be done in the morning and set times to get those done, etc and able to see what is available for dinner, etc. The reason for the location of the pond is the dip on land, clovers grows heaps around this and there's a pipe already under the trellis, so will use this as an outlet for the overflow during rains. The land slopes from east to west so will have the pond situated lower than the beds, probably right into ground. I intend to make the shapes quite organic, so it will be pleasant to walk around and looks more natural. I also might put a dry creek bed from the larger pond at the edge of bush on the east side to this pond and put up a little bridge for the pavered path. Let see if it is possible over the time anyway.
The mandala/keyhole garden will be mainly for vegies and herbs with some fruits close to the trellis.
I'd be interested to know what you think and if you see something I didn't, please let me know.
Cheers till later!