Changing from symetrical to free-form design?
I have a large garden across the road from my house. It is about 40'x60' fenced with french gothic picket fencing. Inside the fence is six, 16'x16' "raised" beds (not all are technically raised soil, but rather just a bed framed by 2"x10"s. Several of the beds are decorative, containing roses, ornamental grasses and Arborvitae. One true raised bed is an herb garden. One is a vegetable garden and the last is a tired old knot garden that only contains sheared boxwoods in the shape of an X (nothing planted in the negative space to make it a true knot garden anymore).
These gardens were put into place by the previous property owner. Everything is mature and healthy and I don't want to lose the existing plants. The place was glorious at one time, but is still impressive and I'd like to maintain that.
My problem is that since we've lived here, we have had several floods. This garden in question ends up under several feet of water. The bed frames have floated away, smashing to pieces against trees. We've restored them and anchored them into the ground (or so we thought) at least three times. Now we're flooding again and I'm dreading the cleanup and restoration process yet again. I can't keep doing this.
I would really like to get rid of those square wooden box style bed frames, and do something more free form and permanent. Flood proof if possible, no mulch to wash away, Perhaps winding grass paths through one large garden rather than six individual "beds". I need help with ideas? Thanks!