What I didn't expect was the pure beauty that was created out there.
I have to admit, I didn't really get the concept of sustainable gardening. Well, I knew what they meant and it sounded great, but when it came to grass or weeds popping up in the middle of the veggies, I really didn't get the need to leave them as is.
Or the vast mix of plants together. I was raised by an avid gardner, and my dad was concise on his measured rows and spaced plants. Of course, he also used lots of Sevin Dust, Miracle Gro, and weed preventer.
This way of gardening by passes all of that. There are flowers scattered throughout that repel bad bugs or draw good ones.
Food, flowers, herbs, all sorts of plants are grouped in "guilds" of related vegetation and the ground is completely covered to prevent erosion and to attract the right bugs, and lots of other jobs that they are busy doing.
My son has collected exotic and heirloom varieties of plants, including this curly stick tree that will produce magic wands. And the whole thing is irrigated by swales and trenches that are filled with gravel and look like trails.
They are lined with the daintiest little wildflowers I have ever seen. As well as some grass that apparently should be left to protect the earth there until the trees grow more and create shade, then the grass will naturally die out, along with the other ground covers he has added to keep the dirt safe till things start to take off.
Until the trees get big enough to block some sun and the area truly becomes a forest, we are using the beds for our regular garden too. Tomatoes, peas, beans, heck, just about everything, is growing among the perennials.
This is a garden that will grow over time, bigger and better. It will not need to be tilled in the spring like my Dad would have, it will develop and change, but once established will take care of itself, with plantings that cooperate and take care of each other.
The mounds are known as hugelkultur, and make for a beautiful layout, as well as a healthy growing space.
Daily, we have been eating every variety of lettuce you can grow, plus kale, chard, spinach, herbs, and other things that my son sneaks into salads. He is quite a cook and also has been foraging in fields for wild thistle to saute as a side dish. It is every bit as good as asparagus (which we also have growing).
My Dad would be fascinated, I wish he was here to see it. He'd wonder about the lack of rows, but I know he'd love the vast harvest we've been picking! I do too.PS- Don't forget that Google Reader is closing soon! If you are reading this from that site, you need to make a change real quick or your list of blogs will be gone.
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