Sunday, May 4, 2008

Green Landscape

Fig Trees!

She said fig trees.

I am sitting with my gardener, or maybe she should be called a Green Landscaper. I had just drawn out our plot with house and land on a piece of paper, and then marked the sun exposures. She said that fig trees would do very well there. Wow, that idea takes me back to when I was traveling in France and tasted my first fresh fig. Omygosh, the possibilities.

Terry Lilley is a permaculture expert, having received her certificate in 2007. Her work and life was featured in Abode in July 2007: "The house on green street - One Charlottesville couple goes green, ground-up".

I want an edible garden and together we are designing it. She starts by saying to me: Choose a fruit tree and then we can support that tree with different guilds of plants. She asks a lot of questions about what is allowed at Belvedere:

Can you compost?
Can you have rain barrels?

I pass those questions on to Stonehaus. There are some rules in Belvedere. We need an "edge." It can be green, they tell me. Terry says, you can have blueberry bushes, and I see a long line of bushes and many dollar signs. Yes, she says, think of your budget. Uh oh.

You can grow up, she says to me, pointing to trellises on her land for flowers and vegetables. You don't need a lot of land to grow in a sustainable way.

The first thing, she says, is to make the soil healthy by adding compost, lots of it. That means huge piles of manure. Oh boy. Okay.

We are meeting with landscape designers at Stonehaus on Tuesday.

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