From DIY Video to Backyard Herb Spiral
A Duke Gardens instructional video prompted gardeners to take action.
Here is one family’s experience.
“Our youngest two daughters attended The Little School at Duke and were used to wandering Duke Gardens and going on weekly nature walks across campus. When Durham and Duke shut down, the new physical boundaries were hard. We used the Duke Gardens video stream to connect them to the people, places and faces they remembered. We painted using dirt pigments. We watched the sun move across the garden, and then, being fully inspired, we built our herb spiral.
“We live downtown and our yard contains the remnants of a home demolished in the ’70s. To avoid lead paint and debris, and to rebuild the soil, we’ve used raised beds. To get the bricks, we dug in an area where we knew a former chimney was buried just beneath the surface. Our girls would dig out bricks, sort them, and work out the math to clear the space and determine how many bricks we needed.
“Our spiral is taller than we intended, a happy accident. In it, we grew basil, thyme, oregano, sage, fennel, chives, rosemary, parsley and black swallowtail caterpillars. First thing most summer mornings, my 3-year-old would grab my hand and tell me it was time to go explore in the garden.”
“First thing most summer mornings, my 3-year-old would grab my hand and tell me it was time to go explore in the garden.”
Herb spirals that Michelle Van Assche and Instagram user @garrrison built after watching the DIY video.
Instructional video by education program coordinator Kavanah Anderson.