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 grape vines running down the middle of the bed. Two birdhouses are attached to the posts to house early season insect eaters like swallows, with a Mason Bee “house” on the middle post to attract these excellent native pollinators, all created by SRV members David Sligar and Mike Nelson. This garden also includes a bird bath created by Bertie Foltz.

The plants are all Fire-resistant, drought-tolerant and many are evergreen so the landscape will not be bare in the winter.

Grapes and tomatoes, strawberries and daylilies…


“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.

Baby fig tree already loaded with figs!

Upper Layer:

-Pineapple Guava
-Fig tree
-Seedless Grape vines

The vines are on a six foot high arbor creating part of the upper story of this layer. The Pineapple Guava and Fig tree can both grow to 15 or 20 foot tall and more, if left unpruned.

Fig tree surrounded by dwarf evergreen blueberry bushes,  with Echinacea and Yarrow and Swiss chard adding color!

Middle Layer:

-Dwarf blueberries
-Dwarf raspberry
-Asparagus next to each pole

Swiss chard, prostrate Rosemary and very rambunctious cherry tomato, with fat healthy horseradish in the back corner.

Groundcover layer:

This layer has two large bold leafed plants in each corner:

Edible, medicinal and pollinator-attractive perennial flowers are part of this layer and they include:
-Echinacea (coneflower)
-Everbearing Seascape Strawberries

Herbs are also a bee favorite and they include:
-Garlic and Onion Chives
-Creeping Thyme
-Prostrate rosemary
-Evergreen Wintergreen

Hypertufa birdbath and young Pineapple guava in background

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.