Garden Bed #1
The Permaculture Garden:
The bed Demonstrates how much food can be grown in a small space (36′ x 5.5′) – using food bearing trees, shrubs, vines, perennials and groundcovers, to create a beautiful, productive, low water use, low maintenance food garden that can be incorporated into a “fire-wise” landscape. It includes a simple post and wire trellis for 2 grapes and a passionfruit vine running down the middle of the bed. Two birdhouses are attached to the posts to house early season insect eaters like nuthatches, with a Mason Bee “house” on the middle post to attract these excellent native pollinators. This garden also includes a bird bath and a “Toad house” with a “resident toad” named Tobias.
The plants are all Fire-resistant, drought-tolerant and many are evergreen so the landscape will not be bare in the winter.
“Everyone who owns a piece of land should feel a moral duty to make something ecologically useful out of it, implementing a landscape that provides food (for both people and wildlife), habitat, fertilization, pollination, carbon capture, water and air purification, groundwater recharge, runoff control, etc.”
Luiz Eduardo Pia de Andrade on the Permaculture Research Institute website
The quote above gives a sense of the philosophy behind the Permaculture movement and the fact that a Permaculture garden is not just an organic food garden. It is a whole system designed to imitate nature in the benefits it bestows on everything from the micro-organisms in the soil to the humans who share it. It works toward sustainability, balance, and a healing and restorative system of interactions and interconnections between humans and the earth and it’s resources and the creatures who share them.
In this 36 foot x 5.5 foot bed we have created layers of production using plants to feed humans, pollinators, birds and microorganisms.
-Seedless Grape vines
-Passionfruit vine (Maypop)
The vines are on a six foot high arbor creating part of the upper story of this layer. The Pineapple Guava and Fig tree will both grow to 15 or 20 foot tall and more, if left unpruned.
-Dwarf evergreen blueberries
-Asparagus next to each pole
This layer two large bold leafed plants in each corner:
Edible, medicinal and pollinator-attractive perennial flowers are part of this layer and they include:
-Stella D’Oro Daylily.
Herbs are also a bee favorite and they include:
-Garlic and Onion Chives
-Creeping Thymes (two varieties)
-Evergreen spreading Wintergreen
-Everbearing Seascape Strawberries will create a thick groundcover over time
– Sungold tomatoes and biennial and colorful Swiss Chard were added for the summer.
Bird houses and Bird Bath:
Bird houses were attached to the east side of the tops of the grape arbor posts to invite small insect eating birds to nest, and a bird bath is added for their support.
Mason Bee House:
Blue Mason Orchard bees are invited to use the Mason bee house and collect nectar and pollen from all the plants that grow here. Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Chives, Echinacea and Yarrow are especially loved by bees who happily pollinate the berries.
Toads and Frogs:
Tobias Toad and his Toad Abode nestle under the grape arbor in the hope that he (or his live counterpart!) will control the slugs who come to eat the strawberries and Swiss Chard. He appreciates the bird bath as well – and it has been set on the ground to give him easy access.