Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bubble Diagrams

When planning your garden out, you should sit down and sketch areas of spaces that need work.  Bubble diagrams are extremely helpful in that you can organize your thoughts down on paper. They even have computer programs for this kind of work!!  As mentioned in an earlier post, it is easy to get distracted in the garden or when you go shopping for plants so a bubble diagram allows you to focus on what needs to get done.....and saves money. This information may be new for some of you or it may be something you already knew:) For me, it's a generalized plan for the Presidio Gardens as I reconstruct the areas with hardscape and new plantings for different types of a cactus garden or a grass garden.....this really is too much fun:)

I have created several bubble diagrams for the different areas in the garden.  They can be a simple thing or as complex as putting in all the irrigation and electric lines.  They can also include areas that have water access etc.  For me, it's more of just figuring out where plants will go and how far the tree canopies will extend.  The gardens at my place are taking shape slowly and sometimes a plant doesn't realize its' potential or didn't fit the space quite like I thought it would.  Therefore editing and replacement happen every now and again to perfect that space.

The other day, there were kids playing around the courtyard and it was fun watching them run in the "forest" outside.  They really had a great time and it means that things are falling into place and creating the affect I was hoping for.  I have more postings coming up......this post has my bubble diagrams for the various spaces of the gardens.  I have another post on "tree canopies".  The thing that I am trying to achieve will be unique.....xeric, forest-like, encompassing both on the ground and in the air with sights, sounds, smells, and touch.  It will not resemble anything that I have seen here in Tucson as it is an image in my mind from my travels pieced together.  It should be quite the garden when I am finished.

It will have a connecting  fernlike sky canopy....or a sky garden for birds(and also for filtering sunlight). You will get the feeling that you are walking into the Amazon on the outisde of the courtyard and into a Mexican park through the gates.  Several fantastic plants that will achieve this tropical look are the fig, guava, and loquat trees. And all produce edible fruit!

The property will also engage the sense of taste with her various plantings of fruit trees all over.  Smell is also incorporated as various flowering plants have been hidden around the property.  There are so many exciting things that are happening.....but the reality is that's it's only partially done.  I have work to do on the fern garden, the sun garden, the "moat", the courtyard, the ramada, the fruit grove, the front gates, and the citrus gardens.  Hardscape has yet to be done in some key areas and I am currently sketching those out plus trying to figure out what kind of plants I want to put in these areas.

While it has been only 2 years, it's amazing to see the differences that have ocurred.  The problem is that you or I cannot see them as I did not start blogging or snapping pics when I first started.....that probably is one of those things I regret the most....but now that I am filming it all, I can keep track of the growth rates etc.  Bubble diagrams are useful and I find them very important when I am planning areas out.  Until next time....Happy Gardening!!


  1. It's nice to see your dream coming true. Interesting journey...

    If I may sidetrack, why are the roofs flat?

  2. I haven't a's traditional in a lot of areas around this part of the country and the Mexico. I think it's because you can walk on them and dry your laundry, but they certainly do cause their issues at times of heavy rain.

  3. Lest hope there is excellent drain systems on the roof by the tree and palm shown in the photos. Otherwise you will have to spend the rest of your life cleaning it as I do...Our house, seven decades old has trees that others planted in the property line, making future ownes life miserable.

  4. Thanks for sharing the study sketches...that is often what I do on my projects to visualize them more, before I turn it into a plan. There is a free program online called Google SketchUp, that allows some nice sketches, but have not learned it...yet!

    Is there enough room for a cactus planting in that narrow space? Perhaps Opuntia ellisiana instead of O. ficus-indica, or smaller cacti? Cacti do love tight cracks...I have to watch where I weed in my own garden!

    (I like the flat roof question, as many roofs are flat in New Mexico and El Paso!)

  5. Thanks for the tip Desert Dweller on the Google SketchUp. Antigonum Cajan....the flat roof is the devil! next post....get onto the flat roof and cause major issues for us.....but more on that hopefully this weekend because it's acorn season right now.....and I'm pulling my hair out!!:)


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