The Calendar Garden in New Paris, Indiana

The looping slides in the background at the December potluck were of the Calendar Garden at the DeFries Gardens in New Paris, Indiana, not far from Elkhart, Indiana, and the Michigan border.

We visited the Calendar Garden in September of 2014 as part of the Michiana Master Gardener Conference. The garden designer lead an break-out session during the conference. The Calendar Garden is set up with three concentric circular paths and four seasonal quadrants connected with four linear paths for the autumn and spring equinoxes and for the winter and summer solstices. At each quadrant--basically 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock--there is a structure: a small enclosed building with a fireplace for winter, a greenhouse for spring, a pavilion with roof-top viewing for summer, and a small partially enclosed building with a porch for autumn.

There is a pond in the center. The main path, a circle with a diameter of probably 365 feet, is brick. Every third brick is labeled for a day of the year. Cultivated plants are inside the main path and native plants are on the outside of the circle. The plantings at each area are placed to help gardeners select more plants that will add interest to their garden throughout the year. For example, the January and February areas contain a lot of conifers. Despite the seasonal placement, the overall garden looked great in September. Based on on-line photographs, the Calendar Garden--like most well designed garden with quality hardscaping--looks great year-round. On the Internet, you can find lots of information and plenty of pictures starting at