My photo
Oak Harbor, Washington, United States

Saturday, May 9, 2009

An Idea!

First, a little background. In 2006, Jack and Wendy Rawls, along with their children, took over the Holly and Lavender Farm (A Knot in Thyme) on DeGraff Rd. in Oak Harbor, WA. Immediately the family began to envision what a fabulous place the farm could be with just a little extra effort. Through Wendy's gardening experience and Jack's farm know-how, the "farm" became a destination! In April of 2008 construction began on the Quilted Garden. What fabulous results! It is so pleasant to meander through the gardens admiring the beautiful flowers, vegetables, and herbs which display such a beautiful feast for the eyes. Planting of The Quilted Garden has been in full force this month; it shouldn't be long before it's blossoming and billowing with gorgeous flowers and veggies.

While doing some gardening research in one of the many gardening books in the shop, I came across an idea that seemed impossible at first. A Vertical Garden? It seems fun but what are the odds we could pull that one off?! At least, those were my thoughts. But Isaiah Rawls took off with the idea and immediately began to configure a design to build this "wall". Through many brain storms and plan drawings, we were finally able to establish a plan.

Here was our plan:

The wall will be a wall of dirt. Sounds simple, but is a little more complicated than it may sound. How would we stabilize it? What will we make it out of? How thick CAN we make it? How will we water it? Where should we put it where BOTH sides of the wall will get enough sun? How can we make it where the wall with not bow out with all the weight of the dirt and gallons and gallons of water? What could we plant that would grow well on the side of a wall? These were all questions that had to be answered before we could start. Obviously, the first thing we did was Google it. Lo and behold, no one has attempted a garden such as this. And if they have, they certainly have not posted any information online about it. Therefore, we were forced to learn things the hard way. This is what we call experimentation. We will be learning as we go what works and what doesn't. What plants just keel over and die, and which ones thrive. The purpose of this journal is to pass our new-found knowledge of vertical gardening to the world of flat gardens. I hope it is useful and that others will gain inspiration to do what they thought was the impossible.


  1. Awesome, I'm the first follower! I can't wait to see how it develops. I've never seen the quilt gardens I'll have to see them when I come by to see the wall, probably after graduation. It all look exciting!

    Just something I'm wonderin about, why the link to A Knot In Thyme is on the bottom of the page instead of on the sidebar? It might get more hits if it's up further. Just wondering.

  2. This is so awesome! I am going to have to stop by and check out this wonder. Great job!