Fall and winter pose an interesting challenge for gardeners. On one hand, it’s really nice to have some forced time away from your garden to rest, relax, and recuperate. On the other hand, if you’re in a cold climate (like me, in Wisconsin), you might start to feel pretty disconnected from your garden over the long and bitterly cold winter months.
Fall and winter are great times to create garden designs and plans. Whether you’re just getting started and need a full landscape design or simply making some changes to your existing garden, the colder months offer plenty of time to get your best ideas on paper.
Today I have a fun blog post for you. I’ve gathered ten inspiring photos of edible gardens from around the internet. They are all great design examples and offer creative edible landscape ideas for a variety of garden spaces.
If you're a gardener or lover of gardening books, you likely know that the gardening book selection is vast. It can even be overwhelming. When I lived in Portland, OR, I would spend hours just browsing books in the gardening section of Powell's Books (the best bookstore I've ever been to, by the way). Libraries are often well-stocked with gardening books, too.
I've put together a list of five gardening books that I absolutely love. If you're overwhelmed by all the choices at your favorite book store, online retailer, or library, take a look at these books to get started. Then search around some more and decide which other books suit your gardening (and learning) style.
My first post about permaculture talked about six of the 12 permaculture design principles and how they can be applied to your garden.
This post will discuss the next six principles: produce no waste, design from patterns to details, integrate rather than segregate, use and value diversity, use edges and value the marginal, and creatively use and respond to change.
Fruit trees are an integral part of edible landscaping. They offer shade, fruit, seasonal interest, structure to your garden design, and so much more. One simple way we can support the fruit trees in your edible garden is through planting fruit tree guilds. Fruit tree guilds are one of the countless permaculture design techniques that can be applied to your home garden.
What are fruit tree guilds? They are human-made communities of plants that are located beneath and surrounding fruit trees. These plants have specific qualities that will support your fruit tree: nitrogen fixers, dynamic accumulators, compost makers, and insect / pollinator attractors. Some plants serve more than one purpose in the guild (and may also be food or medicine for you, too).
The most common question I'm asked is where to plant something in someone's yard. I love and dread this question because choosing a location for one plant is challenging. What seems to be a simple question turns into a lengthy discussion with me asking way more questions in return. I can usually come up with a good location based on the information I've gleaned from our conversation, but what I really want is to encourage people to look at their yard with a bigger vision.
I absolutely love helping homeowners create the edible landscape of their dreams. As a landscape designer, I've had the pleasure of visiting tons of gardens. Over the years I have seen common mistakes that leave homeowners feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and simply at a loss on how to move forward. Here are five challenges I see most often, with tips on how you can can avoid making the same mistakes.
The rain has returned to Portland and the leaves are beginning to change colors. The daylight is getting shorter. Fall is here and our bodies naturally want to focus inward. During this time of year, I bring my love for gardening indoors through books. I've been reading some amazing books lately on plant medicine (which I'll write about this winter) but today I have five gardening books that I want to tell you about.
What's so special about these books? They are fantastic resource for any climate and they are the books I turn to often and/or frequently recommend to my friends and clients.
As a landscape designer, I'm always looking at landscapes and gardens. I've seen plenty of DIY gardens, landscape projects, and even online information that unfortunately weren't the best ideas. I've gathered four links to the best landscape design tips I could find online so that you have easy access to quality information, without feeling overwhelmed.
Lavender looks great with nearly everything. It's silvery foliage and beautiful purple flowers add unique colors and textures to any garden. Try growing it near your vegetable garden, in your herb garden, in a perennial border, or paired with roses for a cottage garden feel.
Encourage rebloom by removing the first flush of flowers. Avoid pruning after late summer to prevent new growth from emerging. Pruning for shape and to remove seed heads is best done in mid- to late spring.
For any landscape to be great, the very first aspect to consider is function. Is the space easy to use? Are the elements of the landscape arranged in a way that makes sense for daily use and with your specific microclimates within that space? How can the space be arranged to achieve multiple goals at the same time?
I generally prefer to grow plants directly in the ground, but there are several places that I don’t feel comfortable growing food in our small city lot, like where a garage once stood and along the side of our house. One project this year is to increase veggie garden space by adding some large container gardens.
If you’re new to container gardening, here’s a quick into to thrillers, fillers, and spillers.
- Thrillers are larger or showier plants than the others in that container.
- Fillers do just what their name suggests - fill the space and are typically medium height.
- Spillers and cascading plants that grow down the sides of the container.
7 ideas for gorgeous and edible container gardens...
Violet species are numerous and their flowers are blue-violet, yellow, or white. Violets have five petals and the lowest petal typically is heavily veined and leads back into a spur. The leaves are almost always heart shaped. The plants are small, growing close to the ground. Most violets are perennials.
Both young violet leaves and the flowers are edible. They can be eaten raw as a trailside snack or mixed with other greens. Violets are not a strong medicine alone, but they do help enhance the medicinal properties of other plants. Violet leaves are high in vitamin C.
Last spring I built an herb spiral in my backyard. It was added as an extension to my medicinal garden. I wrote a blog post about it with instructions for building your own herb spiral, plus photos of my process.
A few days ago, I had a great question about sheet mulching in regards to my herb spiral. Check out Alison's question and my response in my original Herb Spiral blog post: http://www.dailyharvestdesigns.com/blog/2015/3/26/herb-spirals. She also asked how my herb spiral is doing one year later.
Here are some photos of my herb spiral today. Enjoy!
Designing your landscape isn't rocket science, but there is a method to the madness. "What's the problem with planting without a plan?" There are many things that could go wrong, such as overlooking the mature size of plants which often leads to overcrowding, plants too close to structures, and large plants smothering smaller plants.
With a plan, you can maximize your space by pairing complimentary things in the landscape, like your lounging space under a future shade tree. One other huge benefit to a landscape plan is creating a space that is easy to maintain. That alone is enough reason for most people to take the time for a landscape plan.
When designing your landscape, here are 5 steps to follow:
Do you want your garden to look beautiful year-round but don't know where to start? Creating a beautiful landscape is easy to do once you know a few tricks.
Here are three landscape design tips for creating a beautiful space that draws you out of your house and into your garden. With a little planning and some digging, you will be drinking your morning coffee outside in a beautiful setting in no time!
Picture this scenario: You want to plant a few shrubs along the front of your house so you go out to your local nursery and buy some cute little shrubs. You are so excited about your landscape project that you get started right when you get home. You space the shrubs evenly from each other and about a foot or two from your house, plant them exactly as the nursery owner told you, water them, and sit back to enjoy your new shrub border. Perfect!
A couple years later, you notice that your shrubs are not cute little mounds anymore, they are starting to fill in and are rubbing against your freshly painted house and are growing together. Has this happened to you?
What went wrong with your landscape project?