Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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February 15, 2013

THE DIRT ON GARDENING; Raised bed gardens can create visual pleasure

Are you planning a raised-bed garden this year? Well congratulations — not only for your decision to grow your own but also for incorporating the raised bed design that has become so popular.

Raised bed gardens are the rave anymore because of the convenience, ease of harvesting and the neatness they provide to a homeowner — especially city dwellers.

While any garden that is well-maintained creates a visual kind of pleasure, a raised bed that is well placed in a more convenient spot, like outside your back door, will if properly maintained, fit right in to other landscaping and flower gardens.

A bed of this type doesn’t necessarily have to be the ho-hum garden with the standard vegetables one would ordinarily see in a garden for a food source.

Try to make your garden interesting by incorporating some unusual twists that separate it from the neighbors.

Flowers in the vegetable garden — well why not? I always ringed my garden’s outer edges with alyssum (Easter Basket Mix) that gave it a more finished look. I also planted a few marigolds to ward off insects. I filled an end with zinnias one year (the cut-and-come-again variety) just to make the garden a little more eye appealing and cosmos another year.

There are a number of things that you might do to set your garden off from the same ‘ole, same ’ole. Purchase a teepee style trellis for a vining flower or vegetable. There are simple ones and there are elaborate ones available to choose from and it will give your garden a handsome focal point. When doing this, always keep in mind the size of your garden and don’t overwhelm it with a giant behemoth.

Incorporate cement figurines for talking points like frogs, toads, turtles, angels or fairies. Place a gazing globe in a corner spot or plant flowers in an old galvanized sprinkling can and place it in a spot that can easily be seen. In other words, make it a fun place for yourself and one that neighbors and visitors will enjoy and comment on.

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Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
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