Friday, May 30, 2008

Edible Landscape

"Not many people are doing this," said Terry, when I began to ask questions about what plants go with what trees to produce the best edible garden. Different plants nurture the soil in ways that support specific trees in a good way. Okay great, I think, pioneer again. I guess I am just going to have accept this pattern. It is fun to bushwhack, but it can get tiring.

Terry takes me to Edible Landscaping off of Rt 151 in Afton, VA to look at possibilities for my garden, starting with the edible hedge and the first stage of the garden with fruit trees. I feel like I have lots of space in my garden, thanks to my small garage choice and the corner lot. We are planning on one rain barrel. Terry's partner Bryan Buckley tells us that our roof pitch and space will produce 600 gallons of water per one inch of rain! Wow! We are starting with one rain barrel, but Terry floats the idea of "cistern" into Belvedere plans. A community "rain barrel." Well, that idea might be a future project.

We have planned small raised bed with a little pond, small sandbox in the southern corner, with a Dwarf Mulberry. We are calling this space the "Child Zone," and I can see this place easily in my mind, having had one in Vermont. Iris, Lamb's Ear, Sweet William, Lillies of different kinds. Lavender perhaps and some annuals. This picture is a mature dwarf mulberry with Terry in the hiding space under the leaves. Perfect for the children.

Here is a picture of the little pond space I had that I want recreate in my Belvedere yard. The children love it.

We also choose an espalier apple tree for the garage wall, under the stairs:

We have also chosen and Asian Persimmon and an Edible Dogwood:

The edible hedge is a bit of a puzzle for me. Our first pick is a type of current.

Other features in the yard include beds for vegetables and an herb spiral:

Along the way we meet permaculture landscaper Pierre who, when told what I was doing, exclaims, "I have been doing this 40 years and now, just when I am about to die, it is starting to be done!" He is very funny!

There are many options to make this garden full and functional. Stay tuned! For prospective buyers, you get a $4000 allowance for landscaping. We are starting with the landscape design of raised beds and berms for trees, fence, and current hedge. So much to do, and I am patient and excited.

The last bit I have planned is a Forest Garden to the north for the front of the house. This special small bed will include Cohosh, Solomon Seal, Dutchman's Breeches, Virginia Bluebell. Trillium, and whoever else wants to come a live in that little space. These small green plants, and the Tulip Poplar called me back to Virginia.

More to come!

No comments: