Design

What Your Herb Spiral Could Look Like Next Year

What Your Herb Spiral Could Look Like Next Year

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!

How to Design the Landscape of Your Dreams

How to Design the Landscape of Your Dreams

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:

3 Professional Landscape Design Tricks for a Spectacular Garden

3 Professional Landscape Design Tricks for a Spectacular Garden

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!

What's the Most Common Landscape Design Mistake?

What's the Most Common Landscape Design Mistake?

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?

Hyssop and Hyssop: Which One Should You Grow in Your Garden?

Hyssop and Hyssop: Which One Should You Grow in Your Garden?

A few years ago I traded a friend something (probably homemade jam) for some plant starts.  He gave me three echinacea and three hyssop plants; none of them had labels.  I've enjoyed these plants over the years but hadn't used any of them medicinally until last week. 

Fortunately, two weeks ago, I had one of those ah-ha moments when I was with a couple herbalist friends (my herbalism teachers, to be exact).  This ah-ha moment also clarified another small garden mystery involving another plant given to me by a friend.  This plant was also unmarked, but I had a clue as to what it was.

Why You Should Love Lemon Balm and How to Use it

Why You Should Love Lemon Balm and How to Use it

Lemon balm volunteers all over my yard and I love it!  It fills in the empty spaces and I let it grow, as long as I don’t want to plant anything else in that space.  Lemon balm does great in the shade or part sun and is often tucked near a larger plant, like under my apricot tree, or in the corner next to my back fence. 

Medicinally, it's great as tea or tincture.  Use it for calming, colds, during menstruation, and for the gallbladder, liver, gastrointestinal area, and for your heart.  I like to drink the tea simply because it's tasty!

How to Build an Herb Spiral in Your Landscape

How to Build an Herb Spiral in Your Landscape

When I took my permaculture design course in 2010, there were a few permaculture design elements that seemed easy to incorporated into most gardens.  Herb spirals are one of them. 

Our backyard is designed with a lot of big looping curves, creating wonderful nooks and crannies for seating areas, play areas, veggie gardens, and the perfect spot for an herb spiral.

What is an herb spiral?  Herb spirals maximize garden space by coiling up a linear garden space into a mounded spiral.  Built with some elevation, herb spirals offer various micro-climates.  Each side of the spiral receives a different amount of sunlight and the soil moisture fluctuates as it moves down and around the spiral. 

 

Where is the Best Place to Grow Your Veggies?

Where is the Best Place to Grow Your Veggies?

...Where will you grow your vegetables?

A client recently looked at me a little sideways when I said she could plant her veggies either in raised beds or directly in the ground.  "You can plant them directly in the ground?  But what does it look like?" she asked

I've never thought twice about my decision to plant directly in the ground, for two reasons.  First, in-ground beds are endlessly flexible and could be changed every season if I wanted; and second, it's less expensive to just plant directly in the ground.  Here are some pros and cons to raised beds and in-ground beds.

Photo Inspiration From Gardeners in West Africa

Photo Inspiration From Gardeners in West Africa

...A Photo Blog Post

One of my favorite thing to do in Mali was visit gardens.  In the vast sea of sand and mud-brick homes, the colors of the vegetable gardens seemed more vibrant than usual.  Here is a series of farm and garden photos from my nearly two years in Mali, West Africa (2007-2009).  Enjoy!

5 Things To Do in Your Garden in Fall

5 Things To Do in Your Garden in Fall

Turning back the clocks this morning was yet another reminder of the change of season and change of pace.  Fall is in full swing and winter is just around the corner.  Time to snuggle up and settle in until spring.  But before that, I must ask: have you gotten your garden ready for the winter?

This week I've turned my attention to the garden, in the few dry days we've had.  There are a several things I like to do in the fall.

From Parking Strip to Planting Strip

From Parking Strip to Planting Strip

5 things to know before planting between the sidewalk and the street

Have you ever wondered what to do with the strip of earth between the sidewalk and the street?  It's often called the parking strip, but I prefer to call it the planting strip!  This space can easily be turned into a beautiful garden that welcomes you home...

How My Veggie Garden Location Inspired Our Backyard Design

How My Veggie Garden Location Inspired Our Backyard Design

My first challenge was locating our vegetable garden.  I observed the sun and shade throughout the day and found the sunniest spot in the back yard.  This would be our vegetable garden.  I gathered our flattened moving boxes and got to work.