If I had the land, I would have sweeping flower and herb gardens.
I’d lay them out in a keyhole-type mandala fashion.
A garden full of nooks—perfect for children to play, birds to flit about, to walk into and hide with a book. To walk through and come out with a fresh bouquet.
Why Mandala Shape?
Besides its aesthetic appeal, non-linear gardens have greater productivity due to the fact that there is simply more gardening space when using non-linear geometry. Linear gardens have their origin in division and ownership of land (easier to mark and measure), and in use of mechanical soil cultivation (easier to drive a horse or a tractor down a straight row). Since neither one of these elements applies to our ecological garden, there is absolutely no need to make them straight! Any shape that respects the landform, works with the flow of water and with the way humans move make more sense.
Mandala Garden as a permaculture design approach is overused, just as is the Herb Spiral. The reason for this statement? Permaculture is not about cookie-cutter solutions that fit all conditions. If you are gardening on a gentle slope, your mandala will not look like mandala anymore (if you are paying attention to the flow of water, and your orientation towards sun) – the shape of the beds will follow the contours, resulting in a geometry both more beautiful and functional. Mandala Shape though is very beautiful.