The Mandala Garden designs are a popular permaculture approach. ‘Mandala’ in Sanskrit language means circle. Various art forms depicted in Buddhism and Hinduism emerge as Mandala or circular forms and patterns.
This kind of geometric circular gardens were first mentioned by Linda Woodrow in her book about permaculture concept, “The Permaculture Home Garden.” It first began in Brazil to help rural communities become economically resilient and have food security during droughts
A simple mandala garden design usually consists of paths running through the circle like spokes on a bicycle wheel. The wedge-shaped beds which get created between spoke paths then are used to grow aesthetic and aromatic plants or vegetable plants. Ideally, the plants in mandala gardens are small and easily accessible so that each plant can be easily maintained from the paths.
By growing herbs or aromatic plants in a mandala garden, you create a sacred space for quiet reflection and meditation at the centre. As mentioned above, mandalas are generally circular with patterns inside. So, most Mandala gardens get developed as circular gardens and within these circles are created inner patterns by paths and plant beds.
1. It allows better and easy accessibility. The keyhole design of a Mandala Garden provides path for better reachability, by stretching an arm and bending down one can touch any part of the garden bed easily. This also prevents stepping onto the garden area and compacting the soil.
2. The circular design is also more visually appealing and attractive as compared to straight line garden beds.
3. It requires no digging or tilling. As a permaculture practice, mulching and composting is done in Mandala gardens without disturbing soil biota. This allows as well as encourages soil bacteria and micro-organisms to be left undisturbed.
4. It is the microbes and billions of bacteria that do all the heavy work in fostering soil fertility. It’s an effective way to gain a rich array of soil life thereby naturally developing an abundantly fertile, flourishing vegetable garden. This only requires giving the soil a crop break and let nature break it all for the gardeners.
5. These circular gardens also provide maximum productive area even within a small cultivable space.
6. It requires very less maintenance and upkeep effort.
To conclude mandala garden can be ideal for organic gardeners who want to create thriving polycultures without disturbing the natural system in their gardens or backyards.
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