22 February 2008

Nature's plan

Earlier in the week we touched on crafts for children from World Showcase’s Kidcot Fun Stops (a segment I am sure we will see more of), but what about crafts for adults, especially those we could we could do at home? Well, there is always horticulture.

Disney’s use of plants and gardens are staggering. To give you a sense of the width and breadth of plant use around Walt Disney World and Disneyland properties, it takes 650 professional horticulturalists to keep all of these plants neat and pretty. Provided that all of these cast members are full-time, working 40 hours a week, which amounts to 26,000 hours a week in the field. These are not gardens that you find around your neighborhood, or are they? Even the often photographed, ever-changing, Mickey Floral parterre* is achievable by the weekend weed warrior, with the right clues.

At Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, the various segments (ears, nose, mouth, eyes, etc.) are outline with a fiberglass border. This form works well when a parterre is seen from a distance, but up close the effect could be compared to a coloring book. For a more intimate garden in your own yard, first sketch the design (Mickey or otherwise) that you are attempting to create. Use this design to consider not only the size and pattern of your garden, but also what types of plants, and colors, you will need.

Next, prepare your bed. The top six inches of earth and soil mix need to be turned over, before being leveled out with a rake. If you are looking for a soil mixture, may I recommend Walt Disney World's recipe.

The final step should be tracing your design into your prepared flower bed, and planting. Note that for a ten foot squared parterre the plants should be spaced six inches apart, and you should use approximately two hundred plants.

*A parterre is an ornamental garden with a formal pattern.

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