Welcome to the Multi-faceted World of Diamond Gardening

Diamond Gardening for inner growth! Cultivate your place in the world. More than just growing vegetables or cut flowers in a 12' x 12' plot, plant a garden and renew your freedom. This freedom results from the personal success and satisfaction of self-sufficiency while building community with others. With the rewards of an abundant harvest, you widen your awareness of the subtle workings of nature. When you create a Diamond Garden you become part of an international chain of diamond friends who are linked together through the desire to make this act of gardening a spiritual and freedom filled endeavour.

Diamond Gardening increases awareness and respect for your health and spirituality using your 12' x 12' garden as a microcosm of your place in the world.

Leipzig, Germany: Prospecting for A Diamond

Motivating beauties - symbols of our gardening hopes

Auf einmal ging alles ganz schnell und wir sind Diamond-Gärtner geworden!
Es begann an einem Sonntag nachmittag auf dem Fluss. Mein 13-jähriger Sohn erzählte mir, dass er mit seinem Freund Salat gesetzt hätte. Das machte ihm offensichtlich Spaß! Und: er erzählte, dass es dort bei seinem Freund in der Schrebergartenanlage noch freie Gärten gäbe. Wir fuhren hin, guckten, und fanden unseren Garten. Klein und verwunschen, mit Pfingstrosen und Apfelbäumen.

Look in the "right" places... Then, all of a sudden, our garden appeared on a Sunday afternoon in May. While we were paddling on the river, our 13 year old son told us about his friend´s garden in which they had planted salad together. Obviously he had been enjoying himself doing this. Then he ended up with the message that there were some gardens available over there in that large garden area, ten minutes by bike from our house.

We had a look and immediately we found a romantic garden with peonies and apple trees, set in a quiet corner of the garden plot. A tiny one, 123 square meters, just the right size for us as new gardeners.

A short bike ride away... Our garden is part of one of Leipzig´s biggest garden non-profit associations, which provides about 900 allotment gardens. Leipzig is said to be the origin of the allotment gardens movement. With the beginning of the industrialization in the middle of the 19th century, the idea came up that it would be beneficial for those who worked in factories to have a little piece of land where to grow fruit and vegetables and where to recreate from work. So allotment garden areas were set up. For a little rent people who lived in dark city apartments would have a sunny piece of land to remind them of former times in their villages. The idea spread and everywhere in German towns allotment gardens have been available for a low price until today. Leipzig nowadays has 208 garden associations which provide 32.500 gardens for little money.  Until some years ago, these gardens were regarded by younger people as the incorporation of smugness.  This has been changing. A lot of young families, artists, students, intellectuals are now keen on getting one of these gardens.  And start happily to do garden work when they could sign their lease contract.

So did we.

However, there were not only peonies and apple trees waiting for us.  A shed, full of left things which the rain had soaked and rotten over years, had to be sorted and then torn down.  My husband set up the motto: ”The vision is clear! This romantic garden promises to become paradise!”  Thus things began to move: 17 cubic meters of garbage were to be brought into containers.

Tearing down and sorting the garbage 17 tons of garbage to clear before we found our Diamond!

And being dirty after a long day of sorting, he, a scientist doing a lot of computer work all day long, concluded:  “This garden finally makes me feel as a complete human being.”

Once the garbage was gone,   we had the chance to make our new start in the already grown structure. Why not create a really different bed, my husband suggested, something like a rhomb. So he was speaking of  a Diamond Garden! I had thought of this, but postponed the idea to next year, having presumed it might be too complicated… While I was preparing our first meal in the garden, where we also had inherited a nice place to sit, he and our children were already digging the earth for our Diamond. The adventure began.

Preparing the Diamond Garden shape

As a bonus, we had inherited compost which my husband worked into the soil.

Then we started dowsing which plants would be beneficial for our family and our garden, and which of them would grow together well in our diamond. The first seeds were sawn, the first plants put in. The boundaries are set in rough, as time allowed for the moment.  The diamond gardeners around the world already have been encouraging us in this process.

Nurturing "inheritance". compost for the Diamond Define the borders... ...and look forward to how it will continue!

Diamond Gardening 2016

Diamond Gardening Gloves

Each year I look at my gloves with gratitude…Really.  I thank all those who helped  with their willing hands to renew the gardens. Twenty years of gratitude. So many shared pairs of gloves among friends. So many memories and joyful gardening experiences.

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Katherine, Sicily, and Sue at the Diamond Garden in Todd, NC, USA.
Conferring in a spirited way to find locations for this year’s garden.

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Refer to my webpage for a Demi-Class on Diamond Gardening:  www.suegurnee.com

A Diamond in Stuttgart, Germany

Enjoy with us the beautiful Diamond Garden that Ernst and Susanne have created in the provincial capital Stuttgart, in the south of Germany.

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A special Diamond Gardener’s song

Freut euch mit uns an einem ganz besonderen Lied, gewidmet Wilma, einer Diamond Gardening-Gärtnerin aus Kirchberg / Deutschland:


Der Link zum Lied:

Der Text zum Lied:
Wilma – Lobgesang der Blume an ihre Gärtnerin

Der Wind umweht den Blütenstaub,
der Regen drückt die Blätter tief.
Vor lauter Erde bin ich taub,
hör nicht, dass meine Gärtnerin mich rief:

Sie springt mit Trost und Mut mir bei,
die Hand von ihr zum Schatten wird.
Jetzt legt sie meine Triebe frei,
Ich bin das Schaf, sie ist der gute Hirt.

Was Wil(l)ma(n) mehr – als ganz und gar Pflanze sein.
Nichts wiegt nun schwer – bin nie mehr allein.
Wo liegt das Glück – als hier, als hier allein.
Werd nie mehr gepflückt – kann ganz und gar Pflanze sein.

Der Winter lässt mich seelig ruhn,
Nichts ist zu tun – die Ruhe vor dem Sturm.
Im Frühling dann, da gibt es viel zu tun:
bin stets zuhaus für Biene, Pilz und Wurm.

Im Sommer bringt ein sanfter Wind,
den heißen Blättern Kühlung bei.
Der Herbst danach kommt so geschwind,
ein neuer Kreislauf beginnt nun für uns Zwei.

Was Wil(l)ma(n) mehr – als ganz und gar Pflanze sein.
Nichts wiegt nun schwer – bin nie mehr allein.
Wo liegt das Glück – als hier, als hier allein.
Werd nie mehr gepflückt – kann ganz und gar Pflanze sein.


Enjoy this very special song, dedicated to Wilma, a Diamond Gardener from Kirchberg, Germany. The link above will take you to the recording of the song, the translation of the lyrics is below.

Anthem of the flower to her gardener Wilma
Wind blows over the pollen
Rain presses down the leaves
Deafened by soil
I do not hear my gardener’s calls:

She stands by me with consolation and courage
Her hand affording me shade
She bares my sprouts
The sheep, that’s me, she is the good shepherd.

What else could one want to be – than a plant, completely and utterly
Nothing weighs heavily – I won’t be alone any more
Where to find fortune – than here, but only here
Will never again be cut – can be a plant, completely and utterly

Winter allows me to blissfully rest
Nothing is to be done – the quiet before the storm
In spring then, there is a lot to do
I am always at home for bee, mushroom and worm

Summer brings a gentle breeze
and cools down the heated leaves
Autumn follows rapidly
A new cycle starts for the two for us.

What else could one want to be – than a plant, completely and utterly
Nothing weighs heavily – I won’t be alone any more
Where to find fortune – than here, but only here
Will never again be curt – can be a plant, completely and utterly.

Ore about peas


While planting my snow peas I began wondering about where peas were first cultivated—anybody know?

The pea has been around since prehistoric times.  Probably native to central Europe or Asia they may have been brought from Greece or Italy by the Aryans 2,000 before Christ’s time. In medieval England, peas were a spring medicine and it wasn’t until the 18th century that they became common in gardens.

What is the best time to pick them—there are so many on the vine, which ones are ripe?

A velvety pod insures a good pea inside that is fresh, tender and sweet. It must be bright green in color, with the pods well-filled but not bulging. The large ripe pea is really a seed and should not be considered a vegetable although i still keep peas on my vegetable list!!
The real sugar pea is grown in Europe and really not as popular in the USA. Fresh green peas lose their sugar content unless they are refrigerated at freezing point shortly after being picked.

Shell peas just before cooking them. Cook in as little water as possible. Throw in just a few empty shells to add additional flavor. The less water you cook your peas in, then not much will be discarded. What is left can be used as a soup base.

Hey! Never cook peas in bicarbonate of soda water to try to keep the green color. It destroys the food value as well as the digestibility and is totally a habit some people have.  Break the habit. No bicarbonate of soda in Peas!

Peas cooked in a vapor-sealed pot or a pot with a very tight lid or even steamed in parchment paper really keeps the subtle pea flavor alive.

I like peas with carrots and turnips and also green peas with tiny onions.

There are over 1,000 cultivated varieties of peas and each year more of these are showing up in seed catalogs.

I am planting a variety of peas and beans this year. Pole beans, bush beans, snow peas and sugar peas.
Has anyone had luck in the lower 40+ states with the Alaskan tall and very early small-pod peas?

Peas can be eaten raw. I like to put them in salads and combine them with other vegetables, proteins and starches. In a pound of peas there are 200 calories. 13.7 g protein, 45 mg of Calcium, 249 mg of Phosphorus, 3.9 mg of Iron, 1,390 I.U. of Vitamin A, 5.5 mg of Niacin and peas are best eaten with other non-starchy vegetables to get the full value of the vitamin A they contain.

Sue Gurnee

Diamond Gardeners worldwide


Inee and Josh expertly dowsed the contents for 6 Diamond Gardens – this is Josh’s first experience- but certainly not his last!

Inee learned about Diamond Gardening last summer at Growing Wheel Headquarters in North Carolina. Both Josh and Inee live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Let the plants complement each other…


Some city-dwellers have asked how they can join the Chain of Diamond Gardeners. Here is our reply:

There are ways to lay out your garden in a manner that is a scaled version of the 12’ x 12’ layout. By allowing the plants to complement each other it is possible to let them “share” in an abridged space. You can vary the size using these suggestions:

A traditional 12’ X 12’ Garden gridded at one foot increments yields 144 squares. The best depth for each square would be about one foot.  In the center of each one foot unit (as many as you can create in your space) plant one plant that needs that amount of territory. An example would be a pepper plant or a vining tomato.

Check the Chart of Compatible and Non-Compatible Plants before you design your planting map. Then at each corner of the surrounding square, plant something in the same family – perhaps four lettuce plants. In the spaces in between, place plants that need much less space – carrots, onions or spinach. (These plants need only 3”-4” between each other). Like a quilt, you can alternate the tall and shorter plants in a way that feels right for all.  If your garden backs up against a fence you can put taller or climbing plants along your last set of gridded squares.

There! You have created your own version of a Diamond Garden in the bustle of a city!

Chart of Compatible and Non-Compatible Plants

Here are some companion plants who are mutually benefitted when neighbors:

  • Basil and Peppers
  • Bush Beans and Celery, Cucumber, Strawberry
  • Beets and Cabbage, Onions
  • Carrots and Chives, Leeks, Lettuce, Peas
  • Celery and Cabbage, Leek, Bush bean
  • Carrots and Chives, Leeks, Lettuce, Peas
  • Cucumber and Bush beans, Potato
  • Eggplant and Okra
  • Lettuce and Carrots, Radish, Strawberry
  • Parsley and Asparagus, Tomato
  • Peas and Carrots, Corn, Cucumber
  • Peppers and Basil, Okra
  • Potato and Bush beans, Pole beans, Cabbage
  • Radish and Cucumbers, Onion, Lettuce, Peas, Pole beans
  • Sage and Rosemary
  • Spinach and Strawberry
  • Tomato and Asparagus, Onions, Carrots, Parsley

Some plants are antagonized by others near them. These plants dislike the following as neighbors:

  • Bush beans and Leeks, Onion, Fennel, Gladiolus, Garlic
  • Pole beans and Beets, Cabbage, Gladiolus
  • Beets and Mustard, Pole beans
  • Cabbage and Strawberry, Pole bean, Tomato
  • Carrots and Dill
  • Corn and Tomato
  • Cucumber and Potato, Sage
  • Dill and Carrots, Tomato
  • Garlic and Bush beans, Peas
  • Onions and Bush beans, Pole beans
  • Peas and Gladiolus, Onion Chives, Garlic
  • Peppers and Tomatoes
  • Tomatoes and Dill, Fennel, Cabbage, Peppers, Corn

Spring Greetings

Diamond Garden at Kirchberg Castle, Germany, Spring 2013

Spring Greetings to Diamond Gardeners who stretch far and wide across the world. 

It was in 1994 that the first Diamond Gardens were planted in the United States by readers who were inspired to learn more about themselves after reading my book, “Chain of Diamonds”. Outlined in this illustrated workbook were methods to increase self-awareness by creating a 12’ X 12’ gardening experience as a metaphor filled with insightful learning their lives. While choosing plants, learning about companion vegetables and tending to the changing needs of flowers and vegetables, gardeners grew! Then, through internet and the power of energetics, gardeners linked their insights with others who had gained from nature’s wisdoms.

This year we invite you to take the personal challenge to engage in a Diamond Garden for pleasure and fulfillment. If you are interested, send an email to diamondgarden@growingwheel.com and ask for your free copy of the Diamond Gardening e-book in English, German or Spanish.

Sue Gurnee

Aufruf der Freien Gartenakademie e.V. Münster zum Frühlingsanfang

Dieser bundesweite Aufruf von Wilm Weppelmann von der Freien Gartenakademie e. V.  Münster  erreichte uns mit der Bitte, ihn weiter zu verteilen. Das machen wir gerne!

“Die Winterruhe ist vorbei. Der Frühling steht vor der Tür und die gartenwilde Saison beginnt. Die Freie Gartenakademie aus Münster startet pünktlich zum Frühjahrsbeginn am 20.3. einen bundesweiten Aufruf: „Völker aller Gärtner vereinigt euch – gemeinsam gärtnern für einen guten Zweck!“

Die Devise heißt: Verschenken Sie ein selbst gemachtes Frühlingsbeet an ein Seniorenheim oder Krankenhaus, den Kindergarten, den Wohnblock, die Gemeinde, den kranken Nachbarn, an ein Hospiz, das Wohnheim, an die Asylunterkunft, die Wohnstraße und .. und … – es gibt überall Erdflecken, die auf einen freiwilligen Einsatz warten. Oft genügt schon ein Blick in die direkte Nachbarschaft, um zu sehen, wo es fehlt.  Nun, nicht jeder lässt sich beschenken, aber fragen kostet nichts.
Die weiteren Zutaten sind: Eine frühlingsbunte Pflanzen-Zwiebel-Samen-Mischung, zwei oder mehr Hände, ein paar Stunden Zeit und ein wenig Mut, um die Umsetzung selbst in die Hand zu nehmen.  „Gemeinsam macht aktives Gartenschenken viel mehr Spaß“, unterstreicht der Künstler und Initiator des Projekts Wilm Weppelmann, „deshalb lohnt es sich, Freunde, Familien- und  Vereinsmitglieder, Nachbarn und Noch-Fremde für diese Frühlingsaktion zu erwärmen. Es wäre schön, wenn sich viele Gärtner zusammenfinden und damit den Winter und ein Stück sozialer Kälte entrümpeln, also zunächst einmal die Gartenvorfreude in fremden Beeten austeilen und danach erst in den eigenen Garten gehen.“

Der Aufruf „Völker aller Gärtner vereinigt euch – gemeinsam gärtnern für einen guten Zweck!“ soll keine Eintagsfliege bleiben. Damit im nächsten Jahr noch mehr Menschen auf den Gartengeschmack kommen, werden bald die ersten Früchte auf den Internetseiten der Freien Gartenakademie www.gartenakademie.org zu sehen sein. Bilder und Erlebnisberichte können an die Email-Adresse  wilm@weppelmann.de geschickt werden. Gärtner werden ihr Bestes geben und mit anderen teilen – nun kann der Frühling kommen. Projektflyer Download:  http://www.gartenakademie.org/flyer.pdf

Wir wünschen allerorts einen schönen Frühlingsanfang und freuen uns  auf die bevorstehende Diamondgardening-Saison!

Euer Diamond Gardening Team

Gardens – Gardens – Gardens 2012

Gardens at Growing Wheel Headquarters

Happy New Year Diamond Gardeners.
The earth sleeps and gardeners dream of the coming seasons’ activities.

At Growing Wheel’s headquarters in Todd, North Carolina, USA May 21-25 there is a gathering to delight all Diamond Gardeners.  Pack up your tools, hats, stories, seeds, and come on over to share in this year’s co-creative experiment in gardening with spirit. Yes…all aged people are welcome. ( oops. No pets, please).Warm and crackling bonfires, music, and Rustic cabins (sans electricity) are available with a donation to Growing Wheel. Tenting space, plenty of parking and outdoor hot showers are also available.  Music at the Sundown Theatre in the evening if you want to dance or play music….there is fun for all.

Also, as a bonus, for those who wish to participate, a special earthwork project will begin that may capture the excitement of those who visit.

Bring your friends, your cameras and food to share. There is a party going on there.  Join in and experience the pleasures of participation.

Garden events start at 9 am each day.  Early birds are in charge of preparing the Diamond Gardener’s chai served on the terrace of the House of Five Senses from 9-11 am. Follow the signs after entering the gate.  Watch out for the welcome committee of three small dogs as you drive the gravel road to the parking lot.

For registration please send a mail to info@growingwheel.com

Hope to see you there. Rain or shine.

Rain or shine!

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