Posts Tagged ‘Edible Landscaping’

Late May Garden

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Garden Pretties

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This clematis was almost dead when we moved here, and now it’s been healthy and blooming for weeks. Delphinium came out today:

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Edible Landscaping Secrets

I get so many questions from people about permaculture, edible landscaping, Robinhood roses, and “permaculture in pots” that I thought I’d list some of the top things I’ve discovered here. This is by no means a comprehensive post — just sharing some of the beauty and a handful of general tips. (If you would like personal assistance with your own situation, this month’s Property Reading Special can include that.)

Combine Flowers with Veggies:

One of the easiest ways to sneak edibles into a “regular” landscape is to intermingle them with flowers. Passersby will notice the blooms but not the edible. This purple iris and columbine camouflage purple and green radicchio. The taller, vibrant plants distract critters from the radicchio, while the lower radicchio covers the soil and keeps it from drying out so fast. The radicchio is so well hidden that I forgot it was even there, until I found it un-nibbled and happy in the slight shade provided by the purple maple and taller flowers:

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Even trickier, you can plant edible flowers like nasturtiums, violets, hibiscus, borage, and roses. Many herbs like sage and lavender flower as part of their life cycle, and squash blossoms are not only beautiful but delicious!

Consider Color:

Many vegetables come in unusual colors beyond what you find in the grocery store. Sources like Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds specialize in rare and colorful varieties of garden classics. Even standards like red chard can play nicely with coordinated snapdragons and pansies like we have approaching our front door:

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Garden Inspiration and Permaculture Projects

Yesterday, David and I enjoyed an afternoon in Grand Rapids, including our second trip to the Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. We took my mom there back in December 2017, and this time proved different but equally enchanting.

Even more exciting, walking around all those carefully planned gardens gave me some alternative solutions for our yard and neighborhood, which will be going through major changes in the next couple years due to mandatory sewer and possibly sidewalk installation. We’re fighting pretty unanimously to save as many of our neighborhood’s gorgeous, old trees, but in the event we lose to the Township’s dedication to the “Agendas,” yesterday’s creativity inspired some lovely “lemonade” recipes from the Township’s would-be lemons.

It’s all very Uranus in Taurus: major upheaval on the physical level, concern for “the greater good.” The questions remain: what is the greater good, who gets to determine that, and how? I’ll share some photos from Meijer Gardens first, followed by a few of our yard and some of the “problem is the solution” ideas this visit inspired. Even this entryway at Meijer Gardens may change, as we heard people discussing a major planned shift in where people enter the park.

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David included me in the photo for scale:

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Some of the sculptures have a grand presentation, while many others play hide and seek within the landscape and winding pathways. This next sculpture is one of my favorites, called “Espaliered Girl.”

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We heard so many different languages as we wandered around the Japanese Gardens.

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7 Photos and 7 Days Left at Faery Hof!

A countdown is in effect. We have exactly one week left before the movers take us away from the house and yards we’ve nurtured the past almost five years. Yesterday afternoon, David and I hosted some yard lessons on how to operate his parents’ old lawn mower we’re leaving here, plus I gave a tour of the various herbs, perennials and fruit trees for easier ID. I’m also leaving each house with the map I made for my Permaculture Design Certificate — but with individual fruit and nut trees and shrubs labeled.

Last week, we already moved about half of what we’re taking to the new place, but now it’s crunch time for packing, sorting and figuring how the heck I’m going to get my container garden to the new yard without needing to rent a separate truck just for plants. You can see just some of them below:

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Most of the indoor plants moved last week, since they can survive without daily care. On these hot days, containers need frequent attention, though, and many of my containers not pictured are too large for cars. Here’s hoping the movers work some magic, since I convinced them to move my garden if we have room. “Normally, we don’t move living things.” I’m not sure they know what they just agreed to! We’ve got another truck reserved for later in the week just in case … but, goodness, it would be so nice to be done!

Meanwhile, here are six more photos of the yards at Faery Hof and Haus Am See. I’m so relieved all the new renters get along and have already developed some sense of community even beyond the gardens. It turns out Continue reading

Garden Firsts: Columbine, Iris, Sea Kale, Rhododendron, Roses, and the Portable 2017 Garden

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Stunning columbines this year! It is crazy windy today, so some of these photos aren’t as clear as I’d like. Too pretty to keep to myself, though. 🙂

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Flowering sea kale, is an edible perennial that looks good all season. Even better, you can eat every single part from roots to shoots to leaves to buds to flowers:

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The first of many varieties Continue reading

Garden Update ~ Tulips, Trillium, Trout Lilies, and Trees

More blooms from the ever evolving yard! Today’s flowers celebrate the letter “T,” and represent just a small smattering of bee and butterfly delight. Yes, some hungry pollinators have already found our yard. In addition to the wild trillium I saved from a destroyed woods a few years ago, we’ve also got trout lilies from the same woods, along with still massive amounts of dandelions, plantain and wild violet, courtesy of Nature herself. I thought I’d share some of today’s more stunning displays:

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Behind those peachy beauties, you can see the later blooming magenta yarrow, which has become its own tough competitor in the colorful riot to dominate this permaculture haven. Continue reading